How To Be Beautiful

In the age of sharing, we are luckily/unluckily exposed to a lot of quotes/stories on social media. There are the ones that we wish we could take in and let drape over us for the rest of our lives. Then there are the ones you might even snicker at because it really tops out the cheese factor. I tend to be a snickerer. Not because I could not use the inspiration, but the connection of the words and my life seems far off. And let's get real, you can only read so many quotes on insta before you scroll right past all of them. Then I met Glennon, and she made me a quote lover, who knew? 

I was introduced to Glennon Doyle Melton, or Momastry as you may know her, a few years ago by friends in my book club. I will use the word "book club" loosely as Glennon's book, Carry On, Warrior is really the only book we have all successfully read and discussed. 

And it is with good reason. Because it was actually inspiring. It had a lot of clear and powerful messages, and I could actually remember most of it. And if you know me that is a feat because I am pretty sure my short term memory is that of a ninety year old. There is some God in there, but not in an overwhelming way that could totally turn off a non-church going gal. So if you are looking for something uplifting, but written by a frank and funny woman who has been through a lot and seen the other side, read it. 

Then her second book came out. Which truthfully was not even close to the first for me, but still had a great message. There was one moment in the book that struck me more than any other. One that I hope to remember in this ninety year old brain of mine and hope to god that I can transfer its message to my kids. It was about how to be beautiful. 

I know. That word. Ugh. 

Today there is so much fakeness, insta filtered madness, and photoshopped insanity that the word beautiful has been twisted up into a place that feels gross and fleeting. So while reading Love Warrior, I stumbled upon the section where Glennon is talking to her young daughters about the word sexy, then out of nowhere teaches us how to be beautiful. I will let her do the talking....

Excerpt from Love Warrior

"My girls are quietly listening, I study their faces as they study mine. Amma tilts her head and says, "Oh. I thought sexy meant pretty."

"hmm, nope. Pretty is another thing that can be sold. What and who is pretty is also something those people in boardrooms decide. It's always changing. So if what you want to be is pretty, you'll have to keep changing yourself constantly-and eventually you won't know who you are. What I want to be, girls, is beautiful. Beautiful means 'full of beauty.' Beautiful is not about how you look on the outside. Beautiful is about what you're made of. Beautiful people spend time discovering what their idea of beauty is on this earth. They know themselves well enough to know what they love, and they love themselves enough to fill up with a little of their particular kind of beauty each day.'

"Like when I dance!" Amma says, spinning and twirling around me. 

"Yes. Like when you dance. Many of the things you see me do each day, I do to be beautiful. It's why I take time out to spend with good friends. It's why I read and look at art and always have music I love playing in the house. It's why I light candles in every room. It's why I watch you climb our banyon trees in the front yard. It's why I roll around on the floor with the dogs and why I'm always smelling the tops of your heads. It's why I drag you to watch the sunset each week. I'm just filling up with beauty, because I want to be beautiful. You girls are beauty to me, too. When you smile at me, I can feel myself filling."

"You two will meet plenty of people who are pretty but haven't yet learned how to be beautiful. They will have the right look for the times, but they will not glow. Beautiful women glow. When you are with a beautiful woman you might not notice her hair or skin or body or clothes, because you'll be distracted by the way she makes you feel."

Isn't that just the simplest, sweetest, and truthful way to describe beauty? With a daughter of my own I am more conscious of the value we put on appearances, so this concept of filling yourself up with beauty is so lovely. I hope that I can explain it to Mary one day. And the "smelling the tops of your heads" line slays me, because I do that probably forty times a day to my kids. And I do think it fills me up in a way. 

So this weekend let's be beautiful. Let's fill up and share that glow. I will be smelling heads and clinking glasses with friends and listening to Fleetwood Mac. What about you? 


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