~ The Relationship between Inner & Outer Beauty ~

A woman's beauty lies in the strength deep within her...

In today’s world where the media & commerce encourage a preoccupation with the physical appearance, we unconsciously equate being beautiful with how attractive we look physically. This is especially true with us, the female gender.

How often do we hear ourselves lamenting we are not slim enough, our skin is not smooth enough, we could do more for our unruly but lusciously wavy hair, etc. etc. If we are honest with ourselves, this happens each and every time we look into the mirror or when we compare ourselves with other women – which are almost always – whether we realise it or not.

Here we are not discounting the importance of looking good; one of the signs of a healthy self-esteem is the pride we have and the effort we make to present an attractive physical appearance to the outside world. However, what we do not realise is this physical aspect is only one side of the coin; half of the story.

Without beauty from within, the picture is incomplete; external beauty becomes only a shell – a shallow interpretation of the person we truly are.

As many of us, if not all, have experienced, maintaining a beautiful look can be taxing over time, not taking into consideration the frustration & unhappiness we feel when we don’t nearly look as good as we think we should. We are constantly worried that we are not good enough because we do not look good enough even if everyone else thinks we are fortunate to have been borne gorgeous.

Herein lies the issue – we have become dependent on the external landscape to provide us with the internal appreciation of who we are. We have defined and thus limit ourselves to being a purely physical creature instead of one who is also emotional, intellectual and spiritual. We have unconsciously become one-dimensional rather than the multi-layered, complex and extremely interesting Being that we were borne to be.

We have come to believe that if we are physically beautiful, we will be happy (emotional health), wealthy (financial health), live a more satisfying life & therefore be more generous people (spiritual health). If we are not physically beautiful, we think that we must be so unlucky or worse, there must be something really wrong with us or we are undeserving of all the “good” things in life. We tag our worth to our appearance.

If we allow ourselves the space and time to reflect on our preoccupation with external beauty, we will realise that no matter how hard and how long we keep at maintaining that ideal, eventually Nature will still prevail; nothing in the external world lasts forever. It is not a fatalistic point of view; rather, it is reality as it is.

So, what do we do then?

The answer lies in a small but significant shift in our belief. Instead of thinking that we need to look good to feel good, it will be more helpful to know that we are inherently beautiful on the inside. We are creatures made from Love, for Love and how could a creature of Love be nothing but beautiful?

Our internal beauty comes from our strength, confidence, conscience, values, generosity, grace, appreciation and of course the love in us for ourselves & for other living creatures – all those qualities that we are blessed with as part of creation but which we had ignored in our quest for physical beauty.

Have we not seen a well-groomed lady with flawless skin, long beautiful hair, a svelte figure, standing tall with immaculate clothes but who constantly has a frown on her forehead and a dissatisfied or sarcastic smirk on her face and we thought “She’s not so beautiful. The other girl looks so much better” and the other girl was of average height, not as lithe but not overweight either – just “normal”, nothing outstanding, just presentably pleasant – but the one thing that stood out was her open, smiley face, her gentle speech when she talked and the way she carried herself with grace and the deep appreciation for the people she interacts with.

Does that not say where true beauty really lies?

Once we start living our lives from that space of love within us, our true beauty will shine through and penetrate every single cell in our being. With little effort, our natural internal beauty will give that gorgeous glow to our external shell that we have thus far placed so much importance and attention to.

Although many would have seen glimpses of that beauty way before we did, it will dawn on us then that we truly are beautiful, within and without…

So come let us celebrate and honour our naturally beautiful inner Self; let us begin the journey to love and appreciate all that we are.


“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

 Kahlil Gibran


“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched … but are felt in the heart.”

Helen Keller

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~ Developing Self-Love & Appreciation of our Inner Beauty ~

Many of us may be averse to the word “self-love”, often misunderstanding it to be a selfish, self-centred outlook way of living.

This is far from the truth. Self-love is the concept of loving oneself and being aware that all our actions will impact our perception of ourselves and therefore our actions towards others. It is knowing the importance of self-forgiveness & self-compassion so that our negative feelings do not translate into negative reactions towards others.

It is by no means a denial of our human frailties but instead an acknowledgment that we are humans and we inadvertently will make mistakes at some points in our lives, mistakes that we turn into learning lessons never to be repeated.

How many times have we caught ourselves in a bad mood because of something “wrong” that we did or did not do and before we knew it, we lashed at the next person who just happened to be there and unknowingly triggered a reaction in us?

A reaction that was in no way caused by that person but instead by our personal turmoil because of the deep-seated guilt arising from that thing we did “wrong”. We could not forgive ourselves and this acted out in the form of us transferring that anger, unhappiness and guilt to the other person.

Self-love is recognising that our thoughts and actions do not represent the person we really are, our True Self. It is appreciating that despite our human lapses, we are capable of being infinitely more loving to ourselves and expanding that love to others around us.

For when we are unable to bring love to the primary relationship in our lives, i.e. that relationship with Self, how could we begin to bring love to the other relationships we have.

Despite all external challenges and transgressions, it will do us good to look within and see that our True Self is spiritually better than we think and this is more important that the Ego Self that usually operates in the outside world.

When we open our heart and acknowledge our inner beauty – that we are created naturally kind and generous, gentle and understanding, loving and supportive – it makes it more tolerable when we lapse and make mistakes. It makes it easier to “right the wrong”, so to speak, instead of unconsciously perpetuating the “wrong” with hurtful reactions that comes from a closed-heart.

Remember,

 “If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.”

Barbara De Angelis

“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.”

Wilfred Peterson

Gaea Spa Solutions LLP © 2011

Published on https://www.facebook.com/ElegantBeau: 19th – 25th Dec 2011

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