Beautiful. Or as I prefer to call it: Beauty-full.
True beauty isn't about mirrors or makeup. It's about being comfortable in your own skin.
True beauty is easier to possess than it is to feel. Just because you are beautiful, doesn't mean you feel that way. Sometimes we need to be reminded. At least I do, anyway. I need daily tips and tricks and encouragement, to remind me that it is okay to feel beautiful. So that's why I've put together this post, focusing on just a few of the tools I use to help feel beautiful every day.
1. Feeling beautiful means giving compliments, and graciously accepting them when they are given to you. I can’t tell you how many times I have been guilty of deflecting a compliment.
Friend: Ashley, you look great today. You’re an adorable pregnant Momma.
Me: Are you kidding me? I’m a beast! I’m green, not glowing. But thanks...
And then I usually throw in some awkward chuckle signifying that I’m laughing at myself and down playing the harsh words I just said about my own physical appearance. Why did I even bother to throw in the "but thanks"? Quite honestly, it’s ridiculous---and putting myself down certainly doesn’t make me feel beautiful.
When people compliment you, don’t deflect. Believe them, and then say thank you.
2. Laugh at yourself daily. Not in a self-deprecating way...but in an "I am so dang funny, I can't get enough of myself" kind of way.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your day, just the simple act of smiling and allowing yourself to laugh will increase those endorphins that make you happy. Whenever Ben and I are in a "disagreement", he always tries to do something silly to make me laugh. And I try my darndest not to crack a smile...because I'm ridiculously stubborn and I know that once I smile at his goofiness I'll likely forget what was upsetting me (or at least it won't seem as bad).
3. Friends matter. Surround yourself with people who make you feel beautiful. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to surround yourself with good people you admire. These are your best friends, the ones who make you feel beautiful, even when you need a little convincing. Eliminate toxic relationships. And if you're not sure how to tell if a relationship is toxic, just consider how you feel when you're around that person. Do you like the person you are when you spend time with them? Do they make you the best version of yourself? Do they make you want to be better? Do they think you're beautiful?
4. Go outside. Fresh air is cleansing, so get some. There is beauty all around. Get out. Breathe it in. Soak it up. And let the beauty of the outside world reflect in your countenance. I can't tell you how many times Ben has come home from work to find me agitated and caught up in a juggling act of doing laundry, while making play dough shapes, while preparing dinner, while changing diapers. The first thing he always says to me is: "Have you been outside today?" On days that I am especially short-tempered and grouchy, I notice that the answer is often NO. And at that moment, I hand him the baby, take off my apron and step outside. I close my eyes, take in the silence and let the sun hit my face. It's amazing what a little fresh air can do to make you feel beautiful.
5. See the beauty that your children see in you. Young children are pure. They haven't yet been tainted with judgment. They haven't yet learned that we're human and that we make mistakes. They forgive quickly and they love deeply. To them, we are the boo-boo kissers, the PB&J-makers, the bedtime snugglers, the super heroes. To them we are perfect. To them we are beautiful. They see the best in us, reminding us that we should see the best in ourselves.
What about you? When do you feel beautiful?
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