|free yourself to tell others of the beauty you see in them|
It is my firm belief that women want to look beautiful. They want to feel beautiful, and they want others to think they are beautiful. It's pretty simple in my mind.
Me, too - I want to look and feel beautiful, and I want others to think I'm beautiful...or at least easy to look at. And I do a lot of things that other women do to ensure that I look the best I can; I investigate and find cheaper substitutes for all the latest and greatest beauty products, spend a fair amount on makeup and hair products and diligently take care of myself to stay looking as good as possible. You, too?
What fascinates me and makes me ponder is the astounding lack of affirmation of each other of the results of our efforts. Do you tell others they look beautiful? Is it only for the romantically involved to verbalize pleasure at the sight of their beloved? We freely say that the sky is beautiful, or the day is gorgeous...even in an ugly dog we find visual pleasure enough to say it outright, but not to one another. Why is that?
I have heard it said that one may feel diminished if they compliment another, raising others above themselves. Could this be true? Please, someone tell me that is not the case, that we are so immature and small that we cannot build someone else up! To build someone up, to make them feel good about themselves or give them a boost in their day couldn't possibly detract from the giver of that edification. To the contrary, I feel that it raises both up; the one who basks in the acceptance and the one who gives love. Pretty black and white in my mind.
Alright, so I hear some of you saying that feeling beautiful is just not that important. Well, let me give you a newsflash: women want to be thought of as beautiful. At least in some degree. Really. No, it's not vain...it's natural and healthy. And, how's this for a thunderbolt: men want to be thought of as smart, strong and handsome. Yeah, I know...shocker.
Now this line of thinking can get out of hand, no doubt. It has to be put in it's proper perspective, to be sure. Beauty is, in fact, only skin deep, and true beauty shines from within. We all know this, and it deserves to be said. A life lived well shows in the face and fervor the the one pursuing righteousness. The light that shines in the eyes of those that have health and hope for a future far outweighs the money spent on that perfect eyeshadow and body cream. Have you seen that in anyone you know lately? Did you take the opportunity to affirm them? Did you acknowledge their enthusiasm and inspiration? Should you have?
I'd like to give a gentle nudge to us all. Is that too presumptuous of me? Can we make an effort to tell our spouse how beautiful or handsome they are? Can we tell our friend or co-worker they are having a good hair day or that you enjoy their smile? How 'bout that cashier or neighbor that could use a lift in their day; would a simple compliment put a smile on their face and make a small connection between two humans just trying to slog through the required tasks?
Don't be a false flatter-er, but be a sincere compliment-er. Look for ways to make those around you feel beautiful and valuable, both inside and out. I believe this is one way that we can show love to one another in a simple way. Try it, and let me know how it goes, will you?
Today, I was sitting on the subway in a horrible mood. An elderly lady next to me looked at me and said, “You’re beautiful. I’m not joking. I was thinking it, and I wanted you to know.” I smiled, thanked her and asked, “Do you usually complement strangers?” “When I was your age, a woman my age sat next to me on a train. Her compliments saved me from doing something stupid. And today, I’m returning the favor.” ~Makes Me Think
Beauty is as beauty does.
From the archives:
HANDSOME (PRETTY) IS AS HANDSOME (PRETTY) DOES - Good deeds are more important than good looks. The proverb was first recorded by Chaucer in 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' (c. 1387). In 1766, in the preface to 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' Oliver Goldsmith wrote: 'Handsome is that handsome does.' First attested in the United States in 'Journal of a Lady of Quality' . The saying is found in varying forms, including 'Beauty is as beauty does'." From the "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).