As women, our sense of self-worth can be tied to our sense of beauty. Beauty is an undercurrent of desire that most of us just can’t get our hands on. Fleeting it is. Why does beauty flee? Run away? Refuse to stay? And why do we keep purchasing and purchasing and purchasing – begging beauty to stay – and it does not?
Let’s see if we can use beauty to expand our sense of self-worth, and expand our sense of beauty (unpurchased).
One way I like to define self-worth is “Is it (x, y, or z) worth it to you (self)?” Many definitions present self-worth as esteem; how you feel about yourself, and I am asking you to consider observing how something feels to and for you.
Is beauty (your beauty) worth it to you?
How does beauty feel to you?
And what kind of beauty is worth it to you? Is felt-beauty worth it? What does beauty mean to you?
Let’s expand our definition of beauty.
If you were blind, would you know that I was beautiful?
That’s a quote I heard years ago. It’s worth contemplating.
Is your beauty worth it?
For most of us, we want to answer yes, and the answer has always been yes, and that yes has been and can be a struggle. As an invitation, if the answer is yes; say yes.
The struggle for beauty – the resistance – the unknowing and confusion of what beauty is, (for many of us) stems from our childhood. Roots that never took root, or were never allowed to take root – and for many of us who grew up in a “fire and brimstone” Christian community…the message was clear: beauty is bad – your body is bad – it’s all sinful – and our sweet innocent brains took the information as, “I am going to hell if I desire beauty in any way shape or form.”
As I grew older, I also came to understand the idea that God made me. That I am wonderfully made. That I am made in God’s image. “Why would God make me (my body, my desire for beauty) bad?” “And what’s this about the Bible telling me the body is a temple?”
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Temples meant something in Biblical times. Temples were spaces that invited respect, cleanliness, and order. There was beauty in the architecture. Many temples were of the utmost value – artistic works of beautiful creations – to be in awe – appreciated – to be revered. Reverence. Reverence is a word worth knowing.
Bring the language of reverence back into your life.
Temples were a place of worship, and all things pleasing to God. But are we pleased with our bodies? Are we pleased with the temple in which our Holy Spirit dwells? And if we are displeased, are we telling God we are displeased with His works? Is our walking around in discontent, angst, disappointment, and lack of beauty for our bodies pleasing to God? Does our soul know what’s going on with this body?
Is there a way we can remember our rightful place – of and in beauty, with our Maker? Is beauty a birthright given to us, rightfully so, from our Creator?
Remember you are beautifully and wonderfully made
Is this worth asking God to help us remember? Many of us try to not desire beauty; we give up, reject, neglect, and abandon a gift that was bestowed on us. Or we try to purchase beauty and we are left in lack – and then purchase more – ending up frustrated, confused, and maybe even angry at God as we question: where is my beauty?
Beauty can be haunting, never leaving us alone, tormenting us – but if we look closer, it’s not so much a haunting, as maybe a deep sadness, as if beauty is asking, “Why am I not worth it to you?”
The rejection, the abandonment, the neglect, and the message, “You’re not worth it,” – regarding our bodies and our beauty, lives and breathes in our cells and our psyche. The “you’re not worth it,” message plays itself out, over and over, in various ways of neglect, rejection, and abandonment.
Until we decide to meet our beauty God’s way, with Grace. Let Grace speak into our lives;I hear you sweet one. I will neglect you no more. Reject no more. Abandon no more. You are worth it to me. Your beauty is worth it.
This begins a new relationship with your unique beauty. Not the Kardashian kind of beauty (that’s unique to them) – but your beauty. Your God-given beauty. Your Grace-Filled Beauty. And just like any relationship (that we decide is worth it), we begin to invest time, effort, and energy. We respectfully start to give our attention to beauty.
We come into a relationship with beauty.
Beauty speaks and we learn to listen. We begin to see, hear, and feel the beauty of others, in our environment, and ourselves. We begin to remember the beauty of God, and we begin to recognize (to cognize) the presence of beauty more than purchased beauty. There is nothing wrong with purchased beauty, however, it is best used as secondary.
In time, we learn to discern the presence of beauty as primary and purchased beauty as secondary. We learn to hear, see, and feel our unique beauty. We allow our beauty to speak and be heard. We ignore it no more. Remember that we are members of God’s Beauty and Grace.
Speak a new message into your life.
“Beauty, you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overwhelmed by your presence, Lord.”
Invite the spirit of beauty into your life, into your mind, your eyes, your ears, your body, and your heart. Beauty is a gift to be received. Let us stop rejecting our beautiful and wonderfully made selves.
You are allowed to have beauty – to see beauty – to feel and sense beauty within and around you. You are allowed to give your desire for beauty attention – to no longer reject, neglect, or abandon your beauty. The challenge is to discern the difference between purchased beauty, and the presence of beauty. “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21, NIV)
Beauty is more meaningful when it is felt – when we experience our sense of felt beauty – when we can feel the beauty of God within and around us. Yes, there is space for purchased beauty, and that has its place, but to purchase beauty is best done when it’s done as an investment that aligns with your unique beauty.
Purchased beauty is different from the presence of beauty. We don’t have to give up purchased beauty, but if we place it above the presence of beauty, we are in essence, missing the mark.
Look closer at these Scriptures while inviting God’s presence of Beauty.
May your bodies and minds be blessed with beauty and grace,
References:Kim Walker Smith, Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here
“Blue Flower”, Courtesy of Gabriel Meinert, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Abstract”, Courtesy of Raimond Klavins, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Red and White Flowers”, Courtesy of Clicking Machine, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Bright Flowers”, Courtesy of Tamanna Rumee, Unsplash.com, CC0 License