What if we mentally focused on what was good about our bodies? What if we said, “Thank you,” to compliments rather than giving excuses or denying them or saying, “You have to say that, you’re my husband”? (By the way, he doesn’t have to say that – if he or anyone else is complimenting you, it’s because they want to. Say “Thank you.”) What if we appreciated our bodies for what they can do for us rather than whether they have stretch marks or acne? What if we worried as much about our mental health and emotional health as we do our actual health? And what if we worried about those things more than the look of our fat rolls and big noses and thin hair and wrinkled faces?
You know what I think? I think if we did all those things, we’d see that we are all something lovely to look upon.
I’ve been thinking about this topic and my thoughts were taking me in this direction anyway, but yesterday I saw this quote that wrapped it all up for me:
“One does not walk into the forest and accuse the trees of being off-center, nor do they visit the shore and call the waves imperfect. So why do we look at ourselves this way?”
~ Tao Te Ching
Yes, why? Why do people look in the mirror and focus on the hair that’s out of place or too thin or too curly? Why do we tend to focus on the things we see as flaws and not look at ourselves the way we look at others or at the forest or the sea? When I look at my friends I see their smiles, not the wrinkles on their face from smiling. Shouldn’t we treat ourselves at least as generously?
Nothing is perfect – not you, not me, not the ocean or the trees. And that’s part of what makes life beautiful, I think.
My cousin posted this picture on Facebook recently, with the comment, “Trees follow what gives them life and makes them happy. Follow their example.”
Yes. Do that. Because that’s what gives trees and plants and everything in nature its uniqueness. And that is what makes the forest beautiful. Each individual tree has attractiveness in the curve of its branches, the slightness of the twigs, the way the leaves play in the wind. That splendor isn’t due to a tree’s constant critiquing of whether its leaves are turning the right color in the fall or falling off quickly enough. The trees stand tall and find the best light. They turn their faces toward the rain. They grow. They change. And they live. Follow that example.
Live. Enjoy the arms that you wrap around the people you love. Appreciate the legs that carry you about your day. Rest your hands on your belly and feel life as you breath in and out. Laugh and giggle and chuckle. Cry and smile. Feel the sun and the rain. And grow.
That’s what makes you beautiful. That’s what makes you lovely to look upon.