“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
(When you accept yourself, your confidence shows from the inside.)
Finding self-acceptance can be a constant battle in modern times. “Just be yourself” is an advice that is not easy to follow. Not especially when you are faced with many wrong ideas about what beauty is. Bombarded by advertisements, you are encouraged to believe that you need the latest it-bag, platform shoes or anti-aging cream in order to be beautiful. Thus, life becomes a constant strife to acquire these items.
Madison Ave spends billions of dollars a year to cultivate an image of what is acceptable, what is the in thing, or what is the next big thing. Trying to keep up with the Joneses is almost an impossible fight; taking on the mass media is lost before it starts. You also eventually realize that with each material purchase, none can ever make you truly beautiful. Even with rapid advancements in medical science, the dream to look young forever is but just a dream, because you can never reverse time.
True Beauty is Not About Being Hip
In my younger days, I was keen to be accepted by others. I tried to fit in by keeping up with the latest trends. I remember the early days of trying to dress like Cindy Lauper, Boy George or Madonna at various time periods. I cringe now at the memory of some of the garb that I wore in my attempt to be hip. I seriously doubt that wearing psychedelic pink, having untidy hair or oversized shoulder pads had actually made me more attractive.
While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery; you will need to seriously consider if adopting another’s style fits your own. You need to think about whether what others wear flatter your body shape, height or personality, or if the clothes are age-appropriate for you. A word of warning: you may just end up with attention for all the wrong reasons.
It is not just the ladies who follow fashion trends. During the mid to late 80’s when Miami Vice was the TV show to watch, many guys imitated the fashions of Tubbs and Crockett. While wearing a t-shirt with a pastel colored suit and boat shoes without sock might have worked fine for Don Johnson, it could look rather silly outside the show.
That tend continues to this day, with many guys in their 20’s sporting Justin Bieber hairstyles. If you think about it, not many can carry off the same look. Yet, guys choose it in order to win the attention of the opposite sex. Perhaps, it may interest you to know that studies have shown that what usually attracts is not a specific hairstyle but a healthy dose of inner confidence.
The opposite of acceptance is rejection. You cannot accept yourself because you deem yourself fundamentally flawed. You reject your body, the way you are and everything about you. And so you tear yourself to pieces with your inner critic.
By rejecting yourself, you feel that you are unlovable. You become focused on your appearance on the outside. Any slight criticism from others sends your world crashing. It happens because you are already unsure of who you are. You have become disconnected from your soul.
On the extreme, you subject yourself to punishing eating regimes. You want to look like the stick-thin models on the covers of magazines. You cannot bear the thought of a single ounce of fat on your body. You also prefer to numb your pain through other forms of addictive behavior like drinking or taking drugs.
Understandably, you want to be accepted by your family and friends. You desire love through being accepted. While there is nothing wrong with seeking acceptance, note that at the end of the day, theirs should be secondary to your own self-acceptance or you will always have an uphill battle to find your own.
Being yourself is honestly one of the hardest things to do, as peer pressure and the mass media can exert undue influence on you at any time. Realize that you will experience an increasing sense of disconnection if you hold on to false appearances. In short, you will not be truly happy. There is always the background fear that others will reject you once you reveal the real person inside.
However, what you need to know is this: you are most attractive when you are authentic. You will eventually draw those who appreciate you for who you are. They enjoy your company because you are not pretending to be someone you are not. You have an aliveness that makes your presence a delight for others. By being authentic yourself, you give others the permission to be themselves too.
You Are Already Beautiful
There is no doubt about it. You are already very beautiful. The essence of who you are goes beyond the personality, the image that you see in the mirror or the make-up that you apply. Hence, it is not about the clothes you wear, the size of your boobs if you are female or the muscles on your arms if you are male.
Most certainly, self-acceptance is not contingent on the approval of others. If you cannot accept yourself, you cannot expect others to do that for you. Thus, learn to embrace who you truly are, make no bones about it. When you accept yourself, acceptance from others will naturally follow.
Self-acceptance puts you in connection with your heart. You accept every flaw or imperfection about you that you perceive, including body parts that are imperfect. Self-acceptance lays the foundation for loving yourself unconditionally. Thus, you become grounded. You are in wellness. When you are in healthy self-love, you naturally gain a glow. You shine from the inside. The radiance touches everyone around you and is one that does not taper off.
Self-acceptance becomes your secret to everlasting beauty.
Shine from the soul always,
Author. Adventurer. Life Coach. More About Me.
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