A few things have inspired this post lately. Its funny how that happens. It has come up in a variety of different ways, for a few different reasons. All in diverse forms, with the same core.
Pretty and beautiful are different.
Last night I watched THIS video. Where Katie Makkai defines the word "pretty". At the end of the video, I wanted to stand up and cheer. Yes, exactly.
There has been times in my life, where I haven't felt all that beautiful. We all have moments of insecurity, of feeling not all that hot. Why. Who am I trying to be, that I am not already good enough. Why would I feel down on myself? Because I don't have a particular brand of something, or a designer dress (or closet full of them). Who am I trying to look like? Be like? Does it matter? Strip us all down, put us all in paper bags in a field (I feel a photo shoot coming on)... and then what. Who is beautiful now? Take off the makeup. Who is beautiful.
Have you ever met someone who glows. Is radiant. Then wondered why they are? The other day, I saw a friend of mine, who I've seen a hundred times. She was glowing. Truly. Not bronzer, or makeup, like she said. Her joy, her light... truly was shining. Beautiful. That is beauty.
Ever seen someone inspired, or doing what they are passionate about? Beautiful. Recently another friend was preparing herself for her wedding. In Mexico. The room was spinning, time has slipped away, and her children weren't ready yet, and they were looking and clearly feeling a bit disheveled. The bride wasn't even close to being ready yet... she could have been caught up in the moment of it being her "special" day, but instead, she noticed her little girls feelings, and immediately tended to them, helped them. While she herself, was still a mess. "I can throw myself together in a second" she said. Putting the hearts and emotions of her girls before her own. Beautiful.
Acts of true love, real compassion, charity, grace... all beautiful. Being greedy, spoiled, unaware of your impact on the world... not all that beautiful. At least through my eyes.
Have you ever seen a man look at his wife/partner after she has just given birth. It is not necessarily a 'pretty' moment. But, she is beautiful, inspiring and remarkable. The look is awe. He is amazed, he is more in love with her than he ever has been. She is not wearing a thousand dollar dress, and her body is literally broken. But her spirit, her passion, her miraculous ability to give life, has left him speechless. I said to Heather after having Maisie, "but I'm a mess. A total mess". She replied... "but have you seen the way Bryce is looking at you". Then, I did.
Beautiful is the way you treat people. In every day life. How you interact with the janitor that cleans your classroom. Just because you are the teacher, and they are the janitorial staff... doesn't make you any better. Beautiful is how you react to situations in your life. How you make the best of the worst. How you could be cold, and mean and bitter... but instead, you decide to let your own light shine. Inspiring others around you. Beautiful isn't pretty.
Beautiful is compassion. Is warmth. Is love. Beautiful is a child's imagination, not their clothing.
Don't get me wrong. I am not going to walk around in a paper bag, with no makeup waving my broomstick around any time soon. I will buy Maisie adorable outfits. I like to feel good, I have the luxury to wear clothes that I feel flatter my strengths, hide my weaknesses, I am still a woman. But I also know, that nothing superficial will let me be amazing. That will be my job, from my core...out.
I am a work in progress, but like the video says... I will wear JOY. I will teach Maisie how to wear passion, and put on love and to show up wearing her brand new source of inspiration. They will be her most dazzling outfits. I will teach her to feel beautiful, from the inside out. Or, I will do my very hardest, make it my mission in life, to try and get through some of that to her. Let that be my legacy for her. That she will know that what really makes her special, and unique and miraculous, is that she is the only one of her, ever in the world. Others will have her same name, they will have the same shoes, but what can be incredible about her... is her heart. Her light. It is different and unique and sparkly without any fancy shoes... however, fancy shoes can certainly be fun.