Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beautiful is a State of Mind

Sometimes we have a tendency to compare ourselves to others.  Sometimes we feel badly about ourselves because we see others who may have a better body, more attractive face, or socially graceful manners.  But comparison, as God has been quite amazing in illustrating to me, is the death of self love.  Let us compare ourselves to others and we will usually find ourselves coming up short.  Certainly there will be days when another will gain a blessing we want and in truth, we never need prove jealous.  We just need to rejoice in who we are and be the best people we can be. 

God illustrated this for me in a way I am not likely to ever forget some months ago.  Now, I must begin by saying that I have a fairly comfortable self image.  I work hard at the gym, I eat healthily, and I recognize that my worth is not based on my appearance.  Yet I too am human.  One day while I was stretching out after an intense work out, I caught in the corner of my eye a brief glimpse of a gorgeous woman, clad in skin tight black, whose movements were smooth and elegant and whose physique, it seemed to me, was one of those that heaven sent to this earth to make everyone else envious.  For a moment I began to get upset, to compare myself to this woman, and to feel negatively about myself in her wake.  It was only for a moment, but it was an extremely bitter one.  Then I caught myself and reminded myself that I could still be friendly and amiable and Christlike to this woman to whom I knew I could simply never compare in physical beauty, that she was her own kind of beautiful and that didn't have any bearing at all on me.  Her loveliness didn't negate my own personal worth.  I looked back up, determined to be calm and loving toward this woman and in looking at her again I realized that the image I had seen had been a reflection of myself in a mirror. 

My dear brethren and sisters, the most beautiful thing we can do has nothing to do with our external shell.  Even models often feel badly about their appearance.  What creates most powerfully a sense of personal beauty is how we choose to feel about ourselves.  That is where our true identities exist and our purest appearance makes itself manifest.  Beauty isn't about the body.  It's about the mind.  If we choose to think that we are beautiful, we will be and in truth, we will also find that others gravitate toward us more naturally.  And when we realize that we don't have to compare to anyone else, our own personal attractiveness can downright surprise us.