Sunday, 28 October 2012
Finding true beauty . . .
I think it's probably more difficult to be a woman today than it has ever been. A lot of us bought into that feminist myth in the 60's and 70's which told us you could have it all . . . and have discovered in the ensuing years that you just can't. The glass in both kingdoms will only ever be half full . . . you can have one or the other and do them well . . . but you can't do both and do both well, not without something really suffering . . . you just can't burn a candle at both ends without something burning out . . .
Then there is the whole beauty/thinness thing. We are surrounded on all sides by a beauty/thinness myth, which many of us struggle to uphold. We are shown pictures of young girls made up to look like women, pictures of young women, with every freckle or flaw airbrushed out . . . a bevvy of celebrities who starve themselves (and models) to look a certain way . . . and models and stars in magazines whose photos have been so airbrushed and contorted that they don't even recognize themselves . . . and we are told this is how we need to look. This leaves a lot of women wanting, or feeling flawed, or feeling inadequate, ugly, fat . . . unable to ever live up to the standard which has been set for us by a media and industry ever hungry for more of that hard earned money we've make from burning the candle at both ends.
I watched my ex boss struggle with an aging body and face for years. She had botox shots regularly, and spent a fortune on face creams, make ups, clothes, shoes, etc. I never saw her eat a decent meal the whole time I worked for her . . . she exercised relentlessly and was always starving. She took so many vitamins in the morning it's a wonder she didn't rattle when she walked. She spend hours preening and making herself up every day . . . but very little time building her substance from the inside, not that any of us could see at any rate . . .
In reality there is no beauty to be found in makeup. Neither do beautiful clothes create a beautiful woman. The secret lies in being alive, awake . . . a woman with something to offer the world. True beauty is less about your face and body and more about your smile. Less about the length of your legs or lack of it . . . and more about the bounce in your step. Less about the shape of your eyebrows and the length of your eyelashes . . . and more about the twinkle in your eye. Real beauty comes from being a workable, decisive woman of substance, able to participate in life with a warm smile, generous heart and gentle, teachable and giving spirit.
If you have these qualities you are a beautiful woman . . . and living the life you have been given will bring out even more beauty in your because it is helping to uncover the woman that you are. With each year that passes, each experience, each sorrow and each joy . . . more and more of the authentic you shows, and more of your beauty glows.
Life is a living and breathing, magical work of art, and you are the one painting this masterpiece with the help of the Master's hands as you go along. Be the masterpiece you were created to become. Drink in life, laugh out loud, be generous and kind to those around you . . . speak with a gentle tongue.
Create beauty around you and you will discover the beauty within. Plant a garden and get your hands dirty. Take in beauty where you find it . . . autumn leaves, winter's frost, springtime blossom. When you appreciate the beauty in another's charm, or another sunset, the smudged painting of your child's hand print presented to you with joy and love, or a beautiful piece of music, or poetry . . . you are saying yes to beauty . . . you are saying yes to God.
The beauty is in the detail . . . and the details are in small and simple things, little pockets of joy which seek us out each day. There is a way to have it all . . . and a way to be beautiful. It's just not found in a pot, nor is it found by working ourselves to the death . . . you have to stop and smell the roses along the way, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life with gratitude and with praise . . . you have to work on being beautiful from the inside out.
Just my thoughts this morning . . .
“The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments.”
~Dieter F Uchtdorf
I'm off to read over my talk for church this morning, one last time. I hope that I will be able to convey what the Lord wants me to say, and I hope that someone within the sound of my voice is able to take something from my words that will be to their benefit . . . I wish for each of you a special sabbath day filled to overflowing with beauty and with blessings.
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . scrummy Lemon and Jam Slices!