Day 12: Defining Beauty - What is it that makes you beautiful?

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Today’s Lesson: Defining Beauty - What is it that makes you beautiful?

Here's the lyrics to the song by the boy band One Direction:

If you can handle it, you can listen here: What makes you beautiful?

You're insecure
Don't know what for
You're turning heads when you walk through the door
Don't need make-up, to cover up
Being the way that you are is enough
Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell
You don't know, oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful
If only you saw what I can see
You'll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe
You don't know, oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful, oh oh
That's what makes you beautiful
So come on, you got it wrong
To prove I'm right, I put it in a song
I don't know why, you're being shy
And turn…

Most of us have a lot of negative self talk in our heads. It's not your fault. It's comes from two directions, not one (that's a joke). First, its the way we are raised. Don't blame your parents, they did the best they could. By the time you are two years old, you are experimenting. Checking to see if your finger fits in that little hole in the wall called a socket. Mom, yells, "NO!" - She is trying to keep you from harm but you are humiliated and you'll hear this 10,000 times before you turn three. 

Your investigative nature is forced to submit to societal rules. Fast forward, as a teen, when your face breaks our into a one gigantic pimple, your peers shun you like the plague. "God, I am ugly."  Teenage anxiety is a test to see who gets to graduate to adulthood. 

It's no wonder the self development movement is a multi-billion dollar industry. Someone needs to teach you how to think right. 

It's hard. 
It's hard to be positive in a negative world. 
It's hard to think of yourself as beautiful when you have "evidence" that you are ugly as mud. 

Men and women both have all the same basic equipment. Decades ago a woman I respect for her wisdom said, "Any woman can be beautiful if she has the budget for it." Meaning the trappings, the clothes the makeup, etc. 

I can't disagree however there is one item of beauty that is totally free: Your smile. If you can fill up your heart with confidence and give a radiant, warm smile to the people you meet, you will fulfill the promises of the lyrics above. 

So it really begins with what you believe, not even in your head but your heart. "Oh come on Garey you don't think with your heart you think with your head!" I don't know how it works but we think with our whole body. There is intelligence in your heart as well as feeling. You think with your gut. "I just had a gut feeling that something was wrong." How many times have you said that? Don't you feel warmth, appreciation, even loneliness  in your heart? I am not the only one, am I?

So my little insight is that you are precious and beautiful as you are. You can take that to the bank of life and make a deposit. We can mess things up through negative thoughts that just aren't true. Here's some tips to beat anxiety before it takes you out of the game. 

Affirmations: Build up a reservoir of positive affirmations that proclaim truth and beauty about yourself. RECITE them often. What are the two affirmations that have changed our political landscape in the last 10 years. "Yes, we can!" and "Make American Great Again" Affirmations are powerful. It's the coinage of the realm. My favorite one that I want to feel in my heart everyday is, "I love my life" You can't go wrong with some self love and self respect. It travels up from your gut and your heart and blossoms on your face. 

Question negative thoughts: When a dreaded doubt tries to get into your head, "you can't do that." Well, I showed you the other day a video where a kid 5'7" trained hard and learned to dunk a basketball with enough practice and training and strengthening. "You're no good." You can question this with "I think I am pretty good at _______________"

Make an inventory of your accomplishments. Write out stuff you have done that denies the negative allegations. In the court room, even with minor offenses, the defense lawyer will recite all the good things that a defendant has done with his life to try to sway the judge and mitigate the crime which he has been accused. "Your honor, Mr Simmons here has driven in Maryland since 1969 with no accidents and he's never had a moving violation in 40 years. He's requesting probation before judgement, your honor." 

Your honor, this man graduated from high school. Instead of attending college he got a job to help his mom pay her rent. He joined the Marines and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He now plans on enrolling part time in community college. He seeks to be a nursing assistant.

It goes a long way to lighten the sentence of a minor infraction. We should use the same defense to mitigate our shortcomings and build confidence in our abilities. 

In college, the World History final exam was a choice between writing about two subjects. The first I knew nothing about. The second I knew everything about. I aced the exam. Hurray for me. Sometimes you just get lucky!

Helping a relative figure out what to do about X. Sometimes, we know nothing about a subject. Other times, we've been through the same thing and "here's what I did. Maybe you could think about something similar." Or "you know, I know nothing about that but I have a friend who is an expert on that, let me get you that number." 

Quick Takeaways:
1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if you have nothing else to give the beholder, give them a warm smile. 
2. Self-respect, self-love breeds confidence in any situation. 
3. Failure is experience. Experience breeds success. 
4. Be there for people. Listen and agree, sympathize, empathize. 
5.  Stretch your comfort zone a little and do a courageous act in the aid of another once in awhile. 

  • Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. Rumi.

Hope this helps.

Garey Simmons
Daily Lessons Archive
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