There is a beauty that lingers on our skin.
It’s made up of physical matter and it certainly attracts some people to us.
That’s a reality.
However, the thing I’m constantly working toward and I hope to pass along, is the ability to see ourselves in a way that’s rich and fulfilling.
Hopefully that encompasses our physical self.
But, I can’t even accept my physical form until I feel at peace with my inner being.
Working toward being a more beautiful person internally is frankly more difficult.
There is no make-up for my soul.
No concealer to hide my selfishness.
No mascara to stretch out my good deeds and make them look fuller.
There’s no lipstick to color over my shortcomings.
It all lives together. The good and the bad.
It all remains visible to those around me and myself, no matter how hard I try to hide it.
Learning to accept myself for both the rough and the smooth is a daily journey.
Even trickier is learning to accept myself while also working toward improving.
This is particularly difficult because often, the rougher parts of us are also the pieces that are the strongest and make us who we are.
I can lean towards selfishness. But, that’s also the part of me that makes me so independent and happy.
I can be too timid and wishy-washy. But, I’m also kind and easy-going.
Learning to find a position of balance between the dynamics in our being is a life long battle.
One that many may abandon in order to live a less complicated internal existence.
But, I believe, abandoning the desire to do and be better is a key piece to a puzzle that looks like overall dissatisfaction with ourselves and with others.
I will happily ask myself what I can do to improve day to day so that I can live a richer-more fulfilled overall existence.
While I won’t have all of my internal blemishes rubbed out and while I will certainly gain new ones, I have a couple of standards that I believe help me in this journey to who I would like to be.
Things that guide me towards being a more loving, kind, and bold individual.
1. My problems are my own.
Meaning, I may feel insecure in a moment, I may feel stressed, I may feel angry. But, that belongs to me. Allowing other people to suffer or expecting other people to fix it is not beneficial to them or to me. I’ve been on both ends of this behavior and it’s never been productive. This doesn’t mean that you never let anyone help you with things. But rather, that you don’t expect them to, and you don’t blame them when things aren’t going the way you’d like.
2. Kindness first.
I believe there’s no reason to do things that aren’t beneficial for you. If you’re in a situation that isn’t serving you, then you don’t have to carry on with that. I believe it’s important to seek out what we need in life and what makes us happy. I also don’t believe in allowing people to walk all over you. However, it’s so important to approach these decisions with kindness. Choosing to do what is best for you with the respect for other people and their happiness. I would never want to seek out my happiness at the expense of another person’s. Sometimes, choosing our own path does hurt other people no matter how we approach it. But, I would like to know that everything I’ve done in life has been rooted with tenderness and with the intention for other people to feel valued and respected if for no other reason then because they too are human.
I want to hear people. To engage with them. To not calculate my next sentence while they’re speaking. I believe people are valuable and have things to offer. I want people to leave my presence feeling like they’ve been heard.
4. Be Seen.
Allowing people to see you as you are is a beautiful contribution to the world. Living in a state of authenticity can create a ripple effect. Allowing others to feel the freedom to share what they have to offer. It can be intimidating to share your gifts and words. But, once you do, it’s easy to see the value in that. Society is in desperate need of people who aren’t afraid to be everything that they are and to chase the things that make them feel alive. I want to be a part of that.
Sarajane Case is a dreamer, a doer, a lover, a writer, a photographer, and Asheville local among other things. Follower her adventures at sarajaneblog.com