I've noticed that when we don't see our own beauty we tend to get cerebral and removed about things.
We debate and have advice. We are grateful it doesn't apply to us. We get objective and make off-hand observations. We distance ourselves and theorize. We quote scripture. And all our comfort zones tend to stick to above our necks (if we have a comfort zone at all.) Mouth and mind can easily become weapons against vulnerability and longing.
I find when I am doing this it is a good lanyard for fear. And usually it's a reaction to not feeling loved. Any time I catch myself judging anyone or anything I have learned to let that be my exposure that really I am afraid. And fear is much harder to sit with than analysis.
The other thing I've noticed when we don't embrace our beauty is that it develops a big discrepancy between what we know and how we live. How we treat the physical aspects of ourselves. Whether or not we cherish our capacities, our physique - our hearts. We say no to the wrong things and yes to some others. How we love our bodies is dependent on our priorities and the body often gets the low end of the totem pole. It's temporal, we say, and so temporally we function.
If our bodies were the ultimate in God's masterpieces - the one thing He made as His own beautiful representation - how does not cherishing them make any statement but loss? My children diminishing the care and enjoyment of their bodies only brings me pain.
And so often I see it affect how we treat others. Our bodies become an extension of defensiveness or pride. They become a measuring stick of function and service, not of love. The boundaries of self-love are the same values we approach life and neighbours with. How we take care of our own basic needs quickly becomes an indicator of how we will care about others.
To live wildly and abandonedly as though we are loved, adored, and will be cared for takes guts. Not doing that is profound and profoundly disastrous. The end result of this is everything from restraint to avoidance; from disbelief to avowed rejection of others and ourselves. Of life.
Whether its known by you or not, you are made to be and to create and to experience beauty. And maybe one of the greatest sorrows in not seeing beauty in ourselves, is the limitation of seeing it in those we love.
That motivated me through all my years of disconnect. To not see my own beauty would directly impact my daughter and my son from being able to see their true selves. And If that isn't worth it... than what else would be?
Well, for starters you are.