Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. -Kahlil Gibran
Beauty in its simplest, purest form is the voice of the soul. It is something we are all born with. In the early days of life, our true beauty is recognized and celebrated by everyone around us. If you have ever experienced holding a new baby in your arms, or witnessed the gleam in a young toddler’s eye, it is very apparent the true human spirit shines through brightly in these precious years.
Time and socialization has a way of dimming the brightness of our light — making it that much harder for us to embrace the true beauty in ourselves and one another. We are constantly informed by media and unrealistic societal ideals what beauty is ‘supposed’ to look and act like. It can become confusing to remember our beauty shines from within.
I vividly remember how it felt as a child to have my confidence and beliefs around beauty challenged in the blink of an eye. I was around 10 years old. It was summertime and I was having the absolute time of my life with a group of friends at the pool. We spent the day practicing underwater handstands, pretending we were mermaids, and enjoying full blown water-fights on the pool deck. We were completely immersed in the pure fun of it all.
In between the uncontrollable giggles and play, we gorged ourselves on juicy watermelon. At that moment, I’m sure there was nothing on my mind other than being fully engaged in having fun with my friends.
It was right about then that my happy bubble was burst when a friend’s mom looked at me and gasped: “My goodness, suck in your tummy, you are wearing a bathing suit!” I am not sure if I was in a bikini or a regular suit, those details are lost. However, what I do remember is the absolute horror and embarrassment I felt. I went from living in the moment of childhood play, to having my attention abruptly brought to the appearance of my body and the importance of how I looked and conducted myself — as though that was what mattered most in what was once a delicious moment.
Looking back now, I realize this mom’s intention wasn’t to hurt me or break my confidence with her comment. The irony is she really believed she was doing me a service. Over the years, I have heard far worse comments from others and I have definitely criticized myself in much harsher ways. What is disheartening is that it is common practice to use this muddled lens to view ourselves and each other through.
So many of us have been brainwashed to believe our beauty and our truth is somehow attached solely to our external appearance. We spread this belief around to one another by being confused about who we truly are and disconnecting from our truth; or by judging others by ‘appearances’ only. It is so easy to forget that ‘who we are’ deep down is about so much more than how we look.
When we place too much importance on our outer selves, at the expense of our inner selves, we lose sight of what makes us truly authentic and beautiful.
There isn’t anything wrong with taking personal pride in our appearance or taking care of ourselves. The problem arises when our confidence and self-worth becomes ‘tied’ to our physical appearance. The problem compounds when we give away our power by being overly concerned about what others think about who we are or how we look. When we allow the voices of others or the ideals of society to make or break how we feel about ourselves, our spirit dims.
Beauty has become about business. It is a massive industry that relies on us to define beauty as being external. It thrives from our belief that we wear our beauty on the outside. This will not likely change in the near future. But we can reclaim our beauty. We can remind ourselves and others around us, that the essence we were born with is always with us. We can choose to see each other through our human eyes and hearts. The very thing that makes us ‘who we are’ is our greatest asset. The true expression of beauty will always shine from within.
Believe in Yourself — ❤️ Emily
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In honour of my nieces and their beautiful spirits, I was inspired to write a children’s book called, ‘Sam’s Magic Mirror’. The story addresses the importance of owning our true spirit and embracing who we are. The message in Sam’s Magic Mirror is dedicated to girls everywhere. It is my sincere hope we can help our young people ‘hold their inner light tight’ and empower them to believe their beauty emanates from within first and foremost.
About Sam’s Magic Mirror: Sam’s friends nominate her to be class president, but Sam can’t see what everyone else does. What makes her special? Sam learns the hard way that everything she needs to be a good leader is right there staring back at her from the mirror, if she can just stay true to herself. This book teaches young girls about friendships, leadership, confidence and being themselves. Ideal for girls ages 6–9, the story comes to life with the help of full color illustrations throughout. Join Sam on her journey to find out what makes a true leader, and whether or not she’s got what it takes to be class president! Sam’s Magic Mirror is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters Online. Click here for more information about the book.
Emily Madill is the author of 11 books in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. Her newest title ‘Fall in Love with Your Life, One Week at a Time’ is now being offered as an E-Course.
If you are interested in connecting to who you are on a deeper level, or if you would like to create a self-care and self-love practice — come on over and join our growing community within my E-Course, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you. ❤️
Originally published at medium.com