“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it” -Confucius
There is such truth in Confucius’s words. Our world is surrounded by beauty but do we really try to see it or do our eyes innately focus on the ugly. There are times that I believe it is prudent to see the ugly and evil around us, for in those moments we see our desire for something greater and more purposeful. When the ugly is seen it should drive us to seek justice. However, I believe that we focus too much on the ugliness to see the beauty. There really is beauty in this world. God made us in His image and therefore we know that His works are good and pleasing. The person we most often see the ugliness in, is ourselves. Or at least for me this is true.
Let me be honest for a second. I am my worst critique. No one sees the ugliness in myself the way that I do. Not just the physical aspects but the inner workings of myself. It has grown to such a degree that I cannot stand to take a picture. My girls have pleaded with me to take a picture with them and because of the ugliness I choose to focus on, I refuse to take a simple picture out of fear of the ugliness it will capture. This is sad fact. Really, it is. I am missing out on special moments with my girls because I desire to avoid looking at what the picture captures, me. I will not look in the mirror for more than a minute, seriously. If I do, I focus on the negatives about myself, such as the donut around my waist and the cottage cheese on my legs. I notice my eyebrows that are in desperate need of a wax. You can imagine how tedious getting ready in the morning is. Do you ever feel this way? The worst part is, I cannot stand to have my husband touch me because I truly believe he will be disgusted with my form and run fleeing out the door. Yeah, I know, Pete would never do that. His love is so much deeper than the physical. My brain just runs away with the negativity and lies sometimes.
So, after much conviction and exhaustion with myself and these thoughts, I have decided to complete a project. Six months of looking at real beauty. I want to become aware of the kind of beauty that is transformational and has nothing to do with my body. I do desire to take care of my body but I no longer want that to be the plumb line for my success. My body image has taken a spiritual toll on myself and I need to flip the mirror around. God is more concerned with who I am as an individual, so I should be as well. Therefore, for the next six months I am going to take time to reflect on inner beauty. I will be taking pictures of those around me completing tasks that exemplify beauty, such as caring for another, enjoying others, serving, being real, and so on. During this time, I am going to step out of my comfort zone and have someone take my picture in real form. This will probably sound silly to some but it will be a huge step for me. I will no longer turn away my husband’s hands. When he wants to hold me around the waist, I will willingly let him. Here is where you come in, will you pray for me? Will you hold me accountable to my thoughts and actions? Pray that I begin to see beauty in its most raw form. This is an area that needs a deep overhaul and only the Spirit can change this part of me. My heart needs to see beauty through His eyes.