Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Sunday afternoon, I stood in my bathroom, surrounded by all the means necessary to make a lady feel pretty for an evening party…a new powder compact, fresh tube of mascara, eye shimmer, lip gloss, hair straightener; the works. But as I began fiddling with my “tools”, I felt my spirits falling deeper and deeper into a beautification slump. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was, however, ready to toss my sweats and slippers back on and shove everything back into the drawer where it all belongs. But I didn’t. I soldiered on.
Trying to curl hair that is as straight as an arrow. And that is thrown into a knot more often than not, as I continue to grow it out to reach my goal of donating it. In my pile, I had no magic wand to erase the puffiness from my eyes. Brought on by the battle cries of a sweet baby teething restlessy through the nights. And late-evening work hours. And too-early-in-the-morning juice requests.
Yet, I finished getting ready, and off to the party we went. Still very much feeling dull and predictable. “Unpretty”…
If I can be totally honest, sweet friends, “pretty” isn’t something I have felt for quite some time. Nope. Other things have filled that void. Tired. Frumpy. Ordinary.And the “feeling frumpy” didn’t disappear into the nightfall of Sunday…
Monday, I had an early-morning meeting for work. I walked in, and without much thinking, released the first thought in my head to those around me:. “I really don’t want anyone to look at me this morning. I feel like I look horrible.” Yup. This tired mama let those words slip out. And I did feel that way. Like a-week-behind-on-sleep, stress-creeping-into-every-bone-of-my-body, roots-reaching-the-one-inch-mark, under-eye-bags-worthy-of-carrying-a-load-of-groceries, sweet-summer-glow-fading horrible. I k.n.o.w. I didn’t really look like that. But I. felt. that. way. Inside. And it started oozing out.
My husband tells me that I’m beautiful. Every. single. day. My response: “As long as you think so” (because I usually don’t). A better response: “Thanks; I am not really feeling it today, but you are the more important person to be hearing that from, besides myself.” But, I just. can’t. respond. that. way. If I don’t feel that way on the inside.
This post is not meant to create a collection of ego-boosting comments. No, no, dear companions. My point in sharing this post is that there are days when each of us feel less-than-our-best. Like we could use a full day’s rest to alleviate even half of the puffiness under our eyes. And when we have been so busy with life itself that we haven’t had the time to schedule an appointment to hide those darkening roots. Or when the damp, chilly weather has brought out a new type of frizziness that we cannot combat with the artillery in our bathroom vanities. When our golden skin fades into a dull paleness. And our outside “blemishes” start streaming inward. To our mind. To our heart. To our soul.
That’s when we go into overdrive. Suddenly, we find ourselves working harder and harder to “fix” what we think is wrong. Inspired only by the mirage of perfection laid before us daily. And in a world driven by social media, it is easier than we might think to fall into the traps of comparison. Of feeling “less than”. Of jealousy.
As I pushed myself through some self-reflection, I realized that more and more, I was becoming reliant on material things to boost my physical confidence. I have learned…raspberry lip-gloss, shimmering eye shadow, a bronzed summer tan…not one. of. these. items. is what makes me feel pretty. My “outside” appearance wasn’t in need of work. It was my “inside”. My confidence. My spirits. My energy-level. My poise. My self-assurance.
There are people in life who simply radiate. A beauty. A glow. A vivacity. And not one. bit. of. it. has to do with their physical appearance. No, friends. Their beauty comes from a confidence deep within their hearts. Their souls. An I-might-have-ordinary-brown-eyes-but-my-soul-is-a-sparklin’-with-beauty-so-bright-that-it’s-pouring-out-of-every-outward-physical-characteristic-on-my-body confidence. Those amazing women…they are my secret role models. They don’t have to worry about what other people think. Because they are too busy filling their life with humbleness. Giving. Sharing. Ambition. They just exist in pure beauty. From the inside-out.
A woman, who, with a mere toe inside the threshold of a room, illuminates the environment encompassing her with such a light, a sparkle, a luminosity…that just her mere presence offers a soul-warming experience . That’s who I want to be when I grow up. That woman. Feeling pretty without a speck of makeup swept across my face…