I recently was scrolling through a woman’s magazine on my iPad. I quickly became discouraged as page after page advertised or extolled all the ways I needed to improve my external appearance. It seems I have too many spots, wrinkles and imperfections to be considered truly beautiful by this magazine’s stringent and impossible standards. I started to get really mad. Mad at myself for all my flaws and mad at this magazine for pressuring me to be perfect. Eventually I realized that I couldn’t really be mad at the magazine. It is only perpetuating the insane ideals we as a whole have bought into. What really, can any of us do about it? We are helpless to the passage of time and the changes our faces and bodies will inevitably go through. No amount of cream, lotion or potion will stop this.
Since I can’t change society or the external pressures we face, all I can do is change my mind about my own standard of beauty. I started to think about the people in my life that were and are beautiful to me. First and foremost, there was my Mom. While she was living, she was one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. She had the lightest blue eyes that always hinted at the wry humor hidden within them and she had this megawatt smile that could light up a room. Hmmm,… she wasn’t a supermodel and she still did age through the years yet she was gorgeous to me.
On this Mother’s Day, I would like us all to entertain the possibility that maybe how we look on the outside has nothing to do with real beauty. Let’s try to honor ourselves by how we love instead of how we look.
My wish for today is that when my boys look back at this time in our lives, they will recall a Mom who loved as much as she was loved and above all else, was perfectly beautiful just as she was.