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Look For Beauty in Everyone... It's There

Posted Mar 20 2011 10:28pm
“Beauty?... To me it is a word without sense because I do not know where its meaning comes from nor where it leads to.” ~Pablo Picasso

I was at an art museum this past week and noticed the women portrayed in the paintings from years ago. I started thinking… who determines what is beautiful? Think back to years ago, when overweight women were considered beautiful. How in the world did our society come to the conclusion that thin, emaciated females now hold the beauty we should all strive for? Furthermore, who decided that physical beauty equates with worth? God must have placed this constant yearning for something beautiful inside of us, but humanity has twisted it into an impossible quest to be fulfilled by obtaining this ever-changing sense of physical beauty.

Try this… take a few seconds to mentally disassociate beauty with external features. Completely rid your mind of this idea. Now. Think of the most beautiful person you know. If the beauty of the person you thought of was based on their physical characteristics, start over. Once you have this person in your mind, take note of the qualities that make this person beautiful. I’ll list the characteristics I thought of…
 Selfless/giving
 Uses her gifts and talents to point others to God
 Sensitive to others’ feelings
 Always smiling/ good sense of humor
 Seeks out those who need a friend and befriends them
 Encourages me all the time to be myself
 Doesn’t care what others think about her- is herself all the time

How do we begin to shift our mindset? I’m just as guilty as the next in basing my impression of someone on society’s interpretation of physical beauty. But how do we change? This is something I’ve been asking myself for a while. I’ve come to a few conclusions…
1.     If we intentionally seek out those who may be ‘less beautiful’ through our culture’s eyes, we will begin to see the beauty in the diversity of our world. I guarantee, if you look for the beauty in others, you will find it.
2.     It is possible to consciously push aside our externally focused thoughts of others and deliberately look for the internal beauty of others and ourselves.
3.      We need to stop focusing on the flaws and faults of others and work on our own hearts. We can’t change others. We CAN change ourselves.
We can’t force society to change. We can’t single handedly shift the mindset of our present culture. But we can make changes in ourselves to better the life of at least one person. I don’t know where the importance of physical beauty came from, but I do know that it will only lead us one of two places: either to empty, fleeting feelings of self worth that will not bring us contentment, or to a lifetime of insecurities and a lack of sense of purpose, value, and acceptance. Either way, we’re left without peace, joy, and contentment. We all desire to feel loved and beautiful, never deprive anyone of these God-given desires.  
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