I had a friend text me this question last week after she read THIS:: “when I feel ugly, the first thought that comes to mind is that God created me perfectly and He created my body to be optimal at a certain weight, fitness level, etc. but I’ve ruined it by not being disciplined enough or eating right…this legitimizes the thought that I am ugly while ‘speaking truth’ at the same time. what do you think?”
My first reactions to her question were…what a brilliant question + I really don’t know the answer to this brilliant question.
So I pondered it for a few days and finally was able to formulate a response to her. I realized that the thing us as woman have to get a hold of is this:: we have to detach our beauty from our bodies. Our body is not what makes us beautiful. I know that feels strange and awkward, but I truly do believe that it’s the truth and it’s the way of freedom. Our world tells us our beauty is found in how we look, in our outward. If we’re thin enough, stylish enough, made up enough, perfect enough…than you are beautiful. And so we strive and stress and despise ourselves because we aren’t thin enough, stylish enough, perfect enough to be beautiful. Oh sweethearts, this isn’t how it’s meant to be.
We are meant to walk in freedom. We are meant to walk in beauty. We are meant to believe we are beautiful no matter how we look. Because that’s not where our beauty comes from…it has nothing to do with how we look. It’s all about who we are, and no amount of “flaws or extra weight” will change that.
“…clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” Gentle and quiet beauty…from within…no striving, no self-hatred, no looking in the mirror and telling ourselves we aren’t beautiful enough.
I think the thing that we have to learn to walk in is actually detaching our beauty from our bodies. So you can be overweight or have those “flaws”, but yet it doesn’t change anything about who you are and the beauty that you carry. I think our world has taken beauty and made it an entirely physical thing, when God made it an entirely heart/spirit/soul thing. Our body is just a house for who we really are. I think that we are meant to take care of that body/house…so to eat well and be active and just caring for ourselves in general is a good thing. But I think the danger is when I start attaching who I am to what I look like.
So my answer to the thought of “I’ve ruined it by not being disciplined enough or not eating right…” is that you didn’t ruin anything! Who you are and your own unique beauty doesn’t change based on what you look like. Trust me, I’m still learning this. It’s such a journey and it can feel like such a fight…but what I’ve started seeing is that when I actually learn to think of my beauty as non-attached to my body, that’s when I can actually feel beautiful. Like, that’s only when I can truly feel beautiful.
I like feeling beautiful. And I know you do too, because it’s just the way that women are made to want to feel. It’s not a bad desire, dear heart. You should want to be beautiful, but you should also fully understand that that beauty doesn’t first come from your body or the way you look. It truly does come from who you are in your spirit and in your heart.
What about you: do you find it hard to detach your beauty from the way you look?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!