Living life through the lens of what others may think is no fun. I pray this blog post helps you find beauty within that speaks to who you truly are.
I grew up with a lot of people who did not look like me. And the people that did never said how beautiful I was. I was applauded for my work ethic, ability to quickly problem solve, demand to be heard without being forceful, etc., but someone proclaiming my beauty was not heard.
So, when I did get glammed up with a full face of makeup and a gorgeous dress, I thought I was supremely beautiful. Now, don’t get me wrong, on days when I wore no make-up and the light hit just right and I smiled, there was a beauty. My smile has always been beautiful. My teeth are fairly straight and white. So, they almost were perfect. Thus, I deemed my smile beautiful at an early age. I developed this habit of smiling in all types of situations as that was the beautiful thing I had to offer. But even in those moments with my smile stretched across my face, I never really felt fully beautiful. It was only when I was fully made up with no blemishes showing and every hair follicle in place, that is when I felt most beautiful.
According to Google, beauty means a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” No one had ever told me that I was this type of beautiful. I was only told that I was pretty when I had on a full face of make-up. So, I reserved beauty for those who put on makeup. I decided I did not need to be beautiful nor did I need makeup. I left being beautiful to others like models, actresses, and women who took the time to make themselves beautiful every morning before leaving home.
When I was in high school and college, I developed this deep sense of self-awareness of my abilities. I was praised for winning speaking competitions, making A’s, following through with my word, being highly organized, etc. So, that is what made me beautiful. What I had to offer the group or organization. I never really thought about the fact that I never deemed myself beautiful until recently because again, I left that up to those in the fashion and beauty industry.
After a bit of research on beauty, I have concluded these things:
- We all experience moments or periods in which we don’t feel beautiful or fully seen.
- The brand of makeup or technique used to apply it has nothing to do with true beauty. (The way society holds certain features in high regard as beautiful needs realignment.)
- There are 3 things we can do to find the beauty within.
Experiencing Beauty, Or Maybe Not
During the summer of 2020, I shaved all my hair off. I definitely did not feel beautiful at that moment when I looked in the mirror, but I felt a new sense of self on the horizon. I had shaved off so many societal expectations so I could find myself. I felt so lost, consumed, and burdened by all that was happening in the world. And to top it off, all the parts of me that I held in high regard were no longer needed. I no longer needed to be highly organized or meticulous. I no longer had people coming to me to solve problems or seek answers. So, the parts of me that I used to outshine the lack of outward beauty (I thought I did not have) were put down. That left me almost naked. That also meant that I had to rebuild, rethink, and realign my ideals.
Now, you may not experience looking in the mirror at a freshly shaved head, but I am pretty sure there are moments when you have looked in the mirror and did not like the reflection. You looked and did not see beauty. Instead, you saw pain, despair, grief, lack of self, lack of belonging, etc.
If we continue to use Google’s definition of beauty, we will all continue to look at ourselves through the lens of what someone else may find to be beautiful. So, let’s try to change that up a bit. I am no longer thinking of beauty as qualities that please the eye. Instead, beauty is a quality that pleases the soul. When we internally feel beautiful, the outside will match because our energy will radiate beauty.
Techniques are Not the Answer
I was raised by my father after the age of nine. So, I missed all and any lessons on make-up application. This is probably the main reason I never really wore make-up. One way I have decided to discover new passions and interests is by being curious and enrolling in classes to learn things I do not know. I recently enrolled in a beauty class so I could learn how to apply makeup. I have learned a few application techniques like how to properly hold the brush, blend eyeshadow, contour my nose, apply a strip of eyelashes, etc. This class also helped me to view makeup differently.
I have always viewed makeup as something one should do for approval or to gain a compliment from someone else. But I learned that applying makeup can be a form of self-care.
Two weeks into my makeup course, I was having a rough day. I could not get my creative juices flowing and the reality of me missing a self-imposed deadline was looming. So, instead of basking in the loss, I decided to take note of it and play in my newly purchased makeup. Me applying make-up that day was a way for me to calm my mind and focus on the present moment instead of ruminating on what I did not do correctly. The way I showed up for myself was beautiful. The way I honored my needs was beautiful. The way I catered to myself was beautiful. So, instead of viewing the use of makeup as a lack of self-esteem or an attraction magnet, view it as a form of self-care or a way to add a bit of happiness back into a moment. This quick activity changed my energy (a.k.a. vibration), thus lifting my mood.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with a face that has been blessed by skillful hands. If you are interested in learning a new skill or two, check out Toya Singletary and Treanna Neufville.
Finding Your Beauty:
There is something magical about connecting with yourself and knowing your worth. I have never gone on a quest to find my beauty, but I have taken a journey down a very long path to find myself. That journey led me to discover my beauty is not tied to what I can contribute to society, my family, my friends, or anyone. I had to learn I was the s*** without any of the titles or gifts. To get to this place, I did 3 things.
- Connection: I made a promise to connect with myself for a month (spoiler alert: it has lasted well beyond that month). My connection involved me checking in with myself by asking myself: What are you thankful for? What do you feel? what do you need? What emotion will I seek today? By starting my day with these questions, I was setting myself up for a clear mind with specific intentions. By asking me what I needed, I was validating myself, seeing myself, and making a commitment to honor myself. I was taking charge and not allowing anyone or anything to steer me away from the intention I set. This practice alone literally made me feel more vibrant.
- Explore Your Passions: Connecting with your passion gives you a creative outlet. It helps you focus on something outside of your normal routine and responsibilities. If you have no idea what the passion is, take a moment to think about activities or pastimes that you use to enjoy. By connecting with your passions a sense of happiness becomes a part of who you are. That happiness radiates and causes internal beauty or joy.
- Affirm Yourself Daily: I start many days with affirmations, poems, or written intentions. I stand in the mirror and repeat these affirmations and let the words sink into my soul. If you walk throughout my house on any given day, you are bound to see post-it notes with affirmations written and randomly placed. This helps me to cycle back to positive thoughts which helps my mood stay light and vibrant.
Lalah Delia, the author of Vibrate Higher Daily said, “When we honor and nurture our vibration, our body rewards us by vibrating higher in health, wellbeing, and even radiant physical appearance.” So, we all can vibrate a little higher by honoring and caring for our energy by listening to what we need and providing it ourselves. Beauty is soul work. It is internal. It is the love and appreciation we have for the journey we are on. Beauty is not about outward appearance, but most definitely starts within.
Gifting yourself or a mom you know with the Just Breathe box is a wonderful way to kickstart and/or amplify the beauty within. Show her you value her by encouraging her to take a moment to breathe and be.