Oh holy hell. If you’ve been through betrayal or a break up, you’ve probably taken a big ol’ hit to your self-confidence. Research shows that most people’s reasons for cheating or leaving have nothing to do with their partners, but when you’re the one left standing by the road, you tend to forget that little factoid. To make it worse, some really nice people who leave relationships dehumanize their partners in order to deny the pain they feel or to maintain a grandiose idea of themselves. “You are ugly,” they say, while you stand there wondering how your life fell apart so spectacularly.
You know what I’ve learned since my spectacular confidence plummeting break up? That whenever someone says something like that - “you are unattractive” or “I want a young, nubile body” (i.e., not yours) - they are a lonely, lost person in search of their heart.
It’s taken a long time to be able to say that and believe it.
We gain beauty and wisdom as we age. This isn’t an earth-shattering new statement, but I feel the urge to shout it OUT LOUD. Over and over. So loudly that every man, woman, and child can hear it daily. So loud that it drowns out the messages that come from unrealistic marketing campaigns and internet trolls. So loud that it drowns out the pervasive influence of pop culture, movies and porn. So loud that Ryan Reynolds or Jon Snow can hear it, cause I just know they’d like it.
Unless you walk away from your integrity, unless you lose yourself in addictive cycles, unless you forget your own divinity and power, you get more beautiful each day. You deepen. Your heart cracks open and you learn how to love better, stronger. You learn how to show up; you learn to stop holding on for dear life. You learn to be more vulnerable and completely honest in all your interactions. You learn your shortcomings and how to address them.
Notice. There’s nothing in there about the cut of the dress, the color of the hair, the length of the leg, the size of the wallet.
Beauty is perceived. Perceived. And perceptions speak clearly of the person who is doing the looking.
My version of authentic beauty involves joy, perceptiveness, creativity, courage, kindness, zest, and peace rather than trends or youthful sex appeal.
My version of beauty places more weight on inner magnificence than outer beauty.
My version of authentic beauty doesn’t please anyone other than myself.
My version of beauty believes that all shoes should be comfortable. I should be able to walk a mile in every pair, no problem. Seriously. It’s a good rule.
My version of authentic beauty depends on self-confidence and adoring the gifts I have.
My version of beauty depends on showing up as exactly who I am. Moment by moment.
My version of beauty involves courageous kindness.
OK, I’ll stop shouting it now.