Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself – Coco Chanel.
We seem to be a culture that is obsessed with how we look, and with holding onto youth. We often derive self-esteem from our looks and how others perceive us. It’s common for us to obsess about our physical appearance in some way. But this is always going to be a losing battle.
Even when great beauty is achieved on the outside, there can be an emptiness on the inside. So clearly striving only for this outer perfection is missing the point.
What if we could see it differently? If we could see that real beauty can be found when we let our truest selves shine through, and when we connect to the love inside us.
What if feeling good and letting that be expressed externally is the best beauty secret there is?
What if we were no longer as interested in looking beautiful, but in feeling beautiful? Something that is totally down to us, an inside job.
Can you notice how you find certain qualities attractive in others? Maybe kindness, presence, integrity or a good sense of humour. How about recognising the attractiveness of those type of qualities in yourself as well?
Looking for the deeper beauty in others and feeling it within yourself. Realising that if you can focus on the inside, the outside will bloom to reflect that.
Looks will fade. Our bodies will age. But this can be beautiful if we acknowledge that with age comes wisdom and growth. A deepening into being, and to who we really are.
Beauty can only increase with age, if age means greater presence and awareness of what’s most important. If you can stay connected to the love within, you will always glow.
The more real and authentic you become the more attractive you are, regardless of your age, because you have lived. You know yourself so much better. You are more comfortable in your own skin. You are more and more awake.
The only time ageing isn’t attractive is when you carry weights of the past. Resentments, burdens, bitterness. When you resist the now or your life situation. When you’re obsessed with staying young and what others think of you. When you’re stuck in the ego and the superficial.
When you go deeper, when you are present, when you are grateful for everything that got you to this point, you know it was all absolutely necessary and so were the years that got you here.
All sorts of things can happen to people that make them lose the traditional sense of beauty. They may lose limbs, their hair or experience any number of symptoms associated with illness. But they can still be beautiful. Often even more so, because they are stripped back and their truest essence shines through. Their soul and spirit are closer to the surface. The ego stuff is being removed.
Does this mean we have to turn away from our looks or wanting to look good at all? Definitely not. It just means we can enjoy it all the more without taking it too seriously. Without deriving our identity from it or confusing it with who we really are.
We can enjoy our youth or parts of ourselves that we appreciate physically. We can make the most of it, knowing it won’t be the same forever.
But we won’t need to cling to these things. We won’t need to chase our younger years or how we used to look or feel. We will realise that where we are now is more than perfect. It’s real, it’s authentic, it has depth and a wisdom that could never have been back then.
We realise that nothing real can ever be lost. Looks may fade, our bodies may change, but our truest selves will only shine brighter and brighter as we age if we let them.
I wonder what can be more beautiful than that.