Saturday, March 10, 2018

Searching for beauty

Beauty.  Beauty from the inside out or outside in? There is no question on the beauty of a flower. What we see is what we get. A grandparent sees beauty in a few lines drawn on a page by a grandchild. Beauty can come in special moments, in a song, in a sunset. Beauty. It seems to be the thing that sells magazines and cosmetics. It draws in the eye and captures it.

What is beauty in these upright moving creatures called people? Like most women I have been through years of make up tips and products. I have had my hair frosted, colored, chopped and teased. I was proud of my thin frame and great legs. I wore so many different styles of clothing over my seventy years that I could be a history of fashion. I wore shoes that pinched my toes and those high heels that made my good looking legs even better. My ears were pierced, my nails polished. I roasted in the sun to get a tan....or for this blond, it was a deep shade of red. I was on a path to find my true beauty.

Well, at this wonderful age I find that I was mistaken. Had I discovered this earlier in life I might have saved a good deal of money and split ends. Beauty applied to the outside possibly allows a person to feel more self confident and perhaps more attractive to themselves, but is that real beauty? Does that outside layer create a safe place for the true essence of a person to come out? Hm. Seems logical.

Never would I have gone out of the house without make up in my younger years. My friend laughed at me when I told her that I put make up on first thing in the morning so I would be attractive to my husband. Feeling less than beautiful as a country girl with all the insecurities of living in a small rural area, I tried to find what could make me better. Ha! Silly girl.

No longer do I color my hair. In fact, I love the white/grey color it has become, because it fits me. It is my halo, my symbol of a life well lived, my crowning glory. My skin is changing, so I am changing my mindset. I don't need chemicals to puff up my cheeks and erase my lines. I embrace this new part of my life. Nothing is sillier than someone trying to erase those years and doing it badly. Nature has a way of making us beautiful at all ages.

Let's go back to that beautiful flower. That one that we see from the outside. That plant started with a little homely seed that was planted in some dark, brown soil. A cute little green bud pushes that crusty earth up and faces whatever is above regardless of the barrier. It stretches and grows and opens, a face seeking the sun. It captivates us and draws us to it. Yet, if you look closely as my father taught me, you see the inner beauty. My guy is a photographer. He knows what it is to see inner beauty. He even sees it in the death of a flower. His media is black and white. Sometimes I wish it was in color, so I could savor each part of the flower in it beautiful array of color pointing us to the birth of the flower. The inner beauty that causes that flower to grow and thrive, whither and die. A good, loving heart is that seed that creates the beauty we possess.

We all have that inner beauty. It doesn't come from a bottle. It may not get us on a magazine cover. It is that same openness as with the flower. It comes from that seed that makes us individuals. We are all blooms that need to be nourished to grow into our beauty. We need to stop believing that we need improvement. Men do not need to be buff or need a comb-over. However, I can do without the bushy eyebrows, but that's my problem. We don't need to be something for someone else. We just need to be better people.

Yes, I put on make up. Yes, I try to look my best. Yes, I love beauty. Yes, I think you are beautiful just the way you are.

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