The title of this article probably allows your thoughts to immediately travel to a person who to you is attractive and appealing-someone you feel has pleasing features and good looks. Obviously you are thinking of the outward appearance of that individual because that is what we see initially when we meet or greet someone – it’s only natural we would focus on their outward presence – and most often we refer to a woman in this context. But the interesting thing is that what one person considers beautiful could be different from what another person thinks is beautiful. Remember that old saying: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? It is certainly a truth as we each see beauty differently according to our own standard. But there is a general perception, a “standard” so to speak, that society adheres to as well.
We know that the world, and probably most, if not all of you reading this right now, feel how you look is important. It’s probably important enough that you make sure to get your hair cut and shampoo it regularly, shop for the perfect clothing for you, purchase beauty and skin care products to look and smell your best, even if you pay attention to only the basics. Some people go a little further in their beauty regimen with things like facials, body wraps, manicures, and more. In fact, many people spend a great deal on bath and body products to feel and look good and fight the aging process. And why shouldn’t we? And others spend a great deal of money on their attire – all for appearance.
Our physical body is an incredible gift and with it we have been given the responsibility to take care of it. People have different views on what that means because we are all unique beings with our own set of beliefs and truths. This is why it is really difficult to set an accurate “standard” for what is beautiful and who fits that description. Haven’t you watched a beauty competition at some time in your life and wondered how one of the contestants is considered beautiful because you’re not seeing it? Again, that’s the uniqueness of each person’s perception.
Here’s an example about the perception of beauty. You know what the dandelion plant looks like I feel sure. It crops up all over the place and when it appears in your lawn, you do what you need to do to get rid of it because it is commonly known as a pesky weed. It does have an attractive yellow flower, but the plant itself isn’t exactly what we’d term a beautiful plant, and you know you don’t want it spreading throughout your lawn. But let’s look further into the dandelion. It has some really wonderful qualities. It is loaded with all kinds of vitamins and minerals, and it has been said that if this is all you had to eat, it could sustain your life for a long time. The dandelion herb or tea can assist in detoxing the liver and other organs in your body, and has been known to alleviate many skin conditions when applied topically. So we see that beauty isn’t always what you can visibly recognize.
As humans we have become conditioned oftentimes to focus on the negative, so we have the tendency to focus on what you believe is a negative aspect of an individual – maybe a big nose or beady eyes, or perhaps a scar of some sort. If we’re a slim person we might think heavier people are unattractive, whereas someone who is chunkier may think skinny people unattractive. Again, it’s the perception of each individual that creates the ideal for beauty.
We also know that as one ages things change. Wrinkles and sagging skin appear, and bodies change. Hair may thin or disappear; the beauty of youth has faded. It is often disconcerting to mature adults when they feel their appeal and beauty has faded. So let’s look a little deeper into real beauty.
According to Webster, beauty is a quality attributed to whatever pleases or satisfies the senses or mind. This can reference color, texture, motion, tone, looks, features, qualities, or high degrees of fineness. Synonyms that correlate to beauty are attractive, lovely, comely, elegant, glamorous, radiant, charming, pretty, good-looking, stunning. If we go to the deeper level of beauty, we find synonyms like valuable, has merit, warm, kind, worthwhile, wonderful, splendid, superb, etc., so it seems beauty encompasses a lot more than merely the outward looks of an individual.
I’ve known many beautiful individuals in my life and I imagine you have too, people who shine with love and kindness that radiates out to you with an open invitation to enter their life and heart. This could be your spouse or partner, a friend, children or parents, a colleague or just about anyone. These people attract others to them because they have a beautiful energy that exudes outward. We like to be in the presence of these individuals because they lift our spirits and make us feel good.
So basically what we see here is that true beauty comes from a heart that operates from love, for love radiates kindness, appreciation, acceptance, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, patience, respect and any expression that uplifts and encourages us. Our spirit gravitates to such a person because this is from love, and love is a higher energy that raises us up. Remember that your essence is love – you came from love but forgot it once you entered this life and accepted the world’s base of fear. So it is only natural that your spirit craves a return to being in the presence of love with loving experiences and people.
The message here is to look beyond the outward appearance for true beauty. External beauty can easily fade and change due to the aging process or unexpected experiences, but a person’s internal beauty remains even through the mature years and/or unexpected circumstances. When you think back and remember someone, it’s their kindness, caring or expressions of love (or lack of) that you remember much more than whether their face was beautiful or not. Additionally, the loving spirit of those you remember or presently know radiates through their being so that their outward appearance seems more