What is beauty? Where does our idea of beauty come from? For most of us, the media and the magazines give us our ideas about beauty and the standards that we can’t possibly measure up to. The part they leave out if how important a part your inner beauty plays into the core of your very being. Our beliefs about ourselves usually starts when we are young from our parents, our fathers in particular. My father would tell me how pretty I was, but for whatever reason, I didn’t believe him. He spoke the words but it didn’t resonate in my soul. We didn’t have a good relationship, nothing improper, yet nothing uplifting either. My mother and I weren’t so close either. I found loving acceptance with my grandmother, who showed me what unconditional love looked like; she loved me no matter what, which was a important factor in my story.
Growing up I was a tomboy; I loved to climb trees and run through the woods off on adventures by myself. I would find solace in standing by the rushing creek in the park I would ride my bike 5 miles to every week. I didn’t wear dresses or skirts, shorts were more comfortable and conducive to all that tree climbing! I liked to play dress up but didn’t see myself as pretty, so what was the point? I loved playing with makeup and seeing how I could look different. My looks could be changed, but my soul remained empty.
By the time I entered 7th grade, it was no better. I didn’t have creative control over my wardrobe since my mom was still footing the bill. I got a job at the mall at a candy store when I was 15 and that’s when I got in the fashion game. I started buying my own and clothes and took delight in putting together outfits. My classmates started complimenting me and I liked how that felt. Still, beauty wasn’t resonating in my soul.
I got married for the first time when I was 21. I really can’t remember my husband telling me I was beautiful. We argued a lot and didn’t have many tender moments. We did have two beautiful girls which makes me grateful for that time in my life. My second husband was very doting and affectionate but again, I can’t recall any moments were he told me I was beautiful. After that divorce, I had another boyfriend who told me a lot that I thought a lot of myself. He didn’t really know me and needless to say we didn’t last very long. My last boyfriend would tell me that he wished I would see how beautiful I was. My belief had always been unconsciously that if I were to believe it, my head would get big. I would become conceited. But I like seeing myself through his eyes. This was different. He really believed I was beautiful and told me so all the time. Secretly I began to wonder if he was lying after awhile because he told me so much. The problem wasn’t what if a man did or didn’t tell me I was beautiful, the problem was that I didn’t believe it myself.
This is what happens when a girl who is struggling to own her womanhood, doesn’t believe in herself and her own unique beauty. It can be disastrous! For me, it meant always striving to look beautiful and put together to hide the mess inside. I thought that if I looked good, I could fake it til I made it so. I looked to others, mostly men, to validate my beauty. Funny thing is, people usually end up adopting the attitude that you have about yourself. What I didn’t realize was that I had to own it, recognize it and believe it.
I started my business at 29 when I was still married to my second husband. I developed a passion for helping others realize how unique they really are and how to translate that to their outer image. It gives me such joy when a client looks in the mirror and really does see how beautiful they are. It is an experience that everyone deserves to live on a daily basis.
I am 37 now, and for the first time, I really believe that I am beautiful; inside and out. Why? Because I discovered what was missing. I was missing God’s view of my beauty. After all, He created me, He knows me better than anyone else, even me. Once I saw myself through His eyes, my eyes were opened. I read a book this week called Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, by Stasi Eldredge. I highly, highly recommend this book for every woman. I invite you to see yourself through God’s eyes. It will change your life. It certainly changed mine.