“You. Are. Beautiful.”
We say it over and over to our children from the day they are born, but what do we mean? The meaning seems to change over a course of a lifetime. From the initial awe of such a tiny beautiful being, to the sweet beautiful souls that shine as they grow, to the beautiful people (on the outside and in) that they become, and the beautiful lives they live… what we think of as beautiful certainly evolves over time.
The other morning I was reading and writing in my devotional journal and the question was posed, “How would you define true beauty?” It came after a Bible verse about beauty coming from within, rather than outward adornment, and it really got me thinking.
It’s a difficult time for a kid to grow up, with societal standards of outward beauty being displayed 24/7 on our screens. The fixation on outward beauty is not a new phenomenon though. The aspiration to be beautiful and the willingness to go to extreme measures to attain beauty has been around for ages. Seriously, go Google what people have been willing to do for the sake of beauty throughout history and you will be queasy. People will likely look back on today’s beauty trends and wonder what we were thinking too.
So it seems that the beauty obsession is here to stay… I can appreciate people taking pride in their appearance and wanting to create an outward look they are comfortable with and proud of, but I just keep coming back to that question of “How would you define true beauty?” And the more I think about it, the more I come back to these 10 traits that, I feel like, define it, and I hope that I raise a child who never forgets what it means to be truly beautiful.
True beauty is…
- being selfless. Putting other people first and taking care of those who need it.
- being helpful and thoughtful without expecting anything in return.
- being compassionate. Training yourself to be slow to anger, quick to forgive, and full of grace.
- being joyful. Taking pleasure in the little things. Being the person who can make almost anything positive or even fun.
- lifting others up. Seeing the beauty and good in others and amplifying it.
- being inclusive. Seeking out opportunities to interact with, learn from, and enjoy time with people who are different than you.
- being trustworthy. Staying true to your word. Being someone others can count on for guidance or even just a listening ear. Admitting when you are or have done wrong.
- being hardworking. Being willing to put in the work to make your dreams a reality and to make the world a better place.
- being faithful. Building your faith and staying true to your convictions.
- being full of love. Loving others, valuing everyone, and taking care of the world around you.
There will always be that sad group of people who say that inner beauty is something ugly people talk about to make themselves feel better. The truth of the matter is, those who are confident in their inner beauty will automatically shine outwardly as well, even if their outward appearance doesn’t reach the socially set bar. There aren’t enough beauty hacks in the world to help someone who’s ugly on the inside though.
How do you define true beauty? Maybe you think I have it all wrong…I’d love to hear what makes your list!