This week: You Are BeautifulEdited by: Kittiara
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You are beautiful. Don't believe me?
This week's Spiritual Newsletter is all about beauty. Hopefully, it will show you that you are beautiful, too.
Do you know that you are beautiful? Perhaps you do. If so, that’s great! May you never forget. If you’re anything like me, though, you’re struggling with that level of belief in yourself. So, I want to give you a little reminder...
When people speak of beauty, they’re often referring to outward appearances – whether it’s of flowers, or trees, or people. In fact, “You’re beautiful on the inside” can be taken as not quite a compliment, because it hints at one’s outward appearance falling short of someone’s, or societal, standards. There are big and enduring philosophical debates about whether or not outer beauty is subjective or objective. I personally believe it to be subjective, but the fact remains that outward appearances are judged, sometimes ruthlessly, which can be crushing for those who are not generally considered outwardly beautiful.
We all know, however, that inner beauty matters. Whether or not you are beautiful on the outside, there has got to be something of value on the inside. And where we can be harsh to ourselves about our outer appearance, we can be even worse to ourselves about our inner beauty, or perceived lack thereof. The saying that we are our own worst critics is quite true.
I can say, with a great amount of certainty, that you are beautiful. I may not know you. I may never know you. And you may be sitting here right now, reading these words, and believe that I know nothing. You may have made many mistakes in your past. You may have done something you regret recently, perhaps even today. You may feel powerless to do good. And yet...
Have you ever smiled at someone, just because? Have you ever given up your seat on public transport? Have you ever sent an encouraging note to someone here on Writing.Com? Held the door for someone? Helped a charitable cause? Given someone a genuine compliment? Gone above and beyond in your work? Done another kind deed? If so, you have beauty within you.
You may feel that giving up your seat on public transport does not make up for whatever it is that you regret. The thing is... it doesn’t have to. That’s not how it works. Any urge of kindness, any sentiment of care, anything that you do not for your own sake but for others is an indication of inner beauty.
It’s easy to get caught up in our flaws. I know that I am guilty of that. But everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has regrets. Going through life is difficult. Sometimes we do wrong and we don’t even know it, because the choices we make can have far-reaching consequences. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have value. It doesn’t mean that we lack inner beauty.
Those of you who read my newsletters will know that I am not a particularly religious person. All the religions and spiritual paths that I know of, however, teach the value of love and care and kindness. Just as the wrongs we do affect others, so do the rights that we do, no matter how small, no matter how we discount them ourselves.
To be beautiful, you don’t have to commit great deeds that’ll be noted in history. All you have to do is to listen to that inner urge that nudges you to be kind whenever you can. When I look back into my own past and think of the people I have known and loved, those who have passed away and those thankfully still in my life, I may reflect on the times that they wronged me, or hurt my feelings, but the overwhelming amount of memories that I have of them are those of acts of kindness. Like, my granny’s endless patience encouraging my love of reading. She must have been tired after work and all the things she did around the house, but she’d sit with her small grandchild, reading her story after story. I remember my mom’s unending enthusiasm about the drawings I made her, and the way she would quiz me on my homework to prepare me for a test, whenever I asked for her help. I remember my great-uncle imitating a character of a children’s show I loved just to make me giggle. I also remember the kind strangers I have met, like the people who assisted me when I had a concussion in a city far away from home, and the stranger who gave me a chocolate bar when I was stranded in the accident and emergency room one night and it was so busy that I had to wait for hours, and I was hungry, and didn’t have any coins with me for the snack machine.
What you do matters. You are not defined by your mistakes. The mistakes that we make are outweighed by all the many instances when we show love and care and kindness and consideration to others – those instances are probably far more frequent than we realise because they simply feel like the thing to do at that moment in time.
The love that you show to family and friends, the support you give to colleagues and other students, the smiles you share with those around you, including the people on this site, they all matter. They are a part of what makes you, you. They have value. You have value.
You are beautiful. Never forget that.
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