The older I get the more I begin to see what really matters.  Because really, some things just are not important.  Though you’d never be able to tell it by popular culture.  Seems like the further we evolve as people the more bizarre our body dysmorphic tendencies become.  Who am I kidding – we have been mutilating our bodies for the sake of “beauty” throughout the ages.  If it wasn’t tribal neck rings it’s been extreme corseting.  What am I saying – corsets in general sound pretty painful to me.  But that’s just it, to cause pain in order to gain beauty.  How much, if any of it is okay?  And by “okay” I mean partaking in an action that alters the self all the while actively loving oneself. 

I’m not innocent here.  I look in the mirror and I see things I would like to be different.  Unfortunate as it may be, it’s widely considered to be a human condition to see oneself and wish to have it be or not be a certain way.  I dye my hair, or rather highlight it.  I pick clothes that will hopefully flatter my frame.  My eyelashes are pale blonde so I wake up basically reaching for my mascara.  I get it.  We all make alterations and decisions to present ourselves in a light we find flattering or desirable.  And that in and of itself is not a bad thing.  Even with those individuals who opt to wear decidedly unflattering clothes and hideous make up are still choosing to wear something based upon the statement it makes or doesn’t make to others.  But again really, taking the initiative to care about your appearance isn’t a bad thing.  On the contrary, many could argue that it is something that separates those who achieve greatness from those merely succumbing to the hands they have been dealt.  But at what point does altering one’s body become an issue? 

Let me spare you the suspense you’re [likely not] experiencing as you read this.  I have no intent on answering that question.  What I do intend on expounding upon is that fact that I have to believe that at the root of all this is a gaping hole where love should be.  Sure, sure, people hugging trees and sipping kombucha have been holding hands in dance circles talking about loving themselves for ages.  But I’m kinda thinking they might be onto something. 

And before everybody starts jumping to conclusions I still shave my legs.  I’m going to keep shaving my legs.  I’m from the south.  And well, I like shaved legs.  So no, I’m not making the hippie plunge.  But I am making the I’m fine just the way I am plunge. 

I’ve noticed over the last few months when I look at myself in the mirror I’m seeing myself differently.  I’m wearing less make up of all varieties.  I’ve even caught myself pairing jeans with a top that really doesn’t accentuate all that could be accentuated.  I know, perish the thought.  But that’s just it.  I’m beautiful.  I’m not beautiful because of what I look like.  I’m beautiful because of who I am and how I treat people.  Someone else may have another definition of beauty and that’s fine.  This is mine.  I want to glow with love for people - not because I applied an extra layer of dewy finish makeup before I left the house.  I want to radiate warmth - not because of the copper bronzer applied to my cheeks but because my heart is full of love for people.

So lately I’ve started doing that.  I’ve started spending less time critiquing how I think I should look and have spent more time being the person I want to be.  Because don’t mistake, the person I want to be is beautiful.  I want to feel beautiful and I want to be seen as beautiful.  But the type of beauty I’m tapping into can not be bought in a bottle nor can it be purchased with the intent of going under the knife.  For those, whether good or bad, will never satisfy the underlying need of love and acceptance we are all born with.  But it’s up to us to begin the process of putting what truly matters at the forefront.  We aren’t on this planet very long.  In truth, there’s not much time. 

So while I have the opportunity to be here.  To live this life.  To encounter all the people I encounter on a day-to-day basis.  What is it I want to be known for? 
Do I want to be known for my immaculate complexion? 
Or maybe for the way my hair looks or doesn’t look? 
Or better yet do I want to be seen as the picture of ultimate beauty? 
Well maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. 
But before and beyond that there are many things that truly matter.  They matter to me and they matter to the people around me. 
I matter.   Me being here matters. 
And because of the beauty that’s inside of me I can make a real difference in the lives of those around me.  And that’s the very thing I intend on doing. 

And when viewing through that mirror, it really doesn’t matter what color my eyelashes are.

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