I’m more beautiful today than I was 10 years ago.
Ok wait, let me try that again with a serious face. I’m working through these thoughts as I write, and I’ll admit it sounds pretty bizarre to actually say that. Give it a try. I’m more beautiful today than I was 10 years ago. Did you struggle to believe it too?
Ok, let me explain my thought train… actually, let’s back up a minute to the whole reason I’m even thinking about all this. Have you seen the newest Facebook “challenge”? Compare your picture from 10 years ago to a picture from today. It’s called “how hard did aging hit you?” If not, it’s out there and people are stepping up to the challenge. I continued to see the pictures and read the comments. Most were…
You’re still just as beautiful!
Something didn’t sit right with me about the whole thing. Was it because deep down I knew I wouldn’t feel good about my comparison pictures? Was it because I somehow felt worse about myself after 10 years? I know others didn’t participate for similar reasons, but no, it wasn’t any of that. I finally decided it was because I disagree with the still just as beautiful comments.
I think we are all more beautiful.
With each year, each season, our beauty only grows. We don’t need a picture to see it. In fact, how can two single pictures do a decade of life justice? How can it even begin to tell what we’ve lived, what we’ve felt and experienced? How can it show our true beauty?
For the .001% of the population who look the same after a decade, or maybe even better, good for you! For many others who looked at this whole thing with anxiety or frustration or anger, cheer up! Your beauty goes way deeper than a Facebook challenge
I know it’s just two silly pictures and a silly short-lived trend, but it was also a way for me to dig down a little further into what a decade of beauty would really look like.
Our wisdom is beautiful. It’s days, weeks, months, years worth of lessons. Sometimes hard lessons, ones we learned and tucked away deep inside creating a beautiful garden of knowledge. I’m definitely wiser than I was even a year ago. We all are. Though hidden from the outside, our wisdom gardens are unique and elaborate and magical. They are beauty.
Our bodies are beautiful. While we often try to hide them with clothes and excuses, they are full of our life. They carry us through long days and explain the journey we’ve traveled. Scars telling of injuries and of healing. Stretch marks telling of our bodies growing with life. Lines tracing the laughter around our eyes. Joyful times of laughter that made our stomachs ache in a good way. Lines tracing tears that fell in hard times. Trials that made our stomachs ache with sadness.
Many have declared certain bodies aren’t beautiful. The extra pounds, the imperfections, the areas we’re made to feel we need to hide… but they are us. They are beauty.
Our hands are beautiful. Young hands with silken skin, yet to experience life. Hands that tell of days spent working, helping, nurturing, creating, holding. Hands that have grasped together or with other hands in prayer, time and time again. Hands that are gentle in touch and strong in help. Hands that protect and comfort. They are beauty.
Our hearts are beautiful. Not only do they provide life, they love. They love with a fierceness that’s beyond any unit of measure. At times they break, shattering into unrecognizable pieces. Yet, they keep beating and loving and healing and growing. They beat for us, they beat for others and with others. They are beauty.
Our faces are beautiful. With each unique feature, they are us. They are how we recognize and see one another. They are handcrafted by God, just for us. They are what our children look up to each day and remember forever. They create a sense of elation with a simple smile. They tell of sadness or anger, each expression a miraculous form of communication that we so often take for granted. Though they change through the years, from the day we take our first breath to the minute we breathe our last, they are beauty.
If you are like so many and struggle to find the beauty in life, I encourage you, challenge you to look deeper. It’s not in a picture. It’s definitely not in comparison. It’s you, it’s me. It’s the little things. It’s imperfections. It’s the unexpected. It’s God’s handcrafted creations.
That is beauty.