Beauty Comes From Within

To be sexy and beautiful is something wonderful to be. But, what about underneath the skin layer? Do the ones you see as having outward beauty match what's going on inside, therefore making them the whnle package?

Our society has become increasingly obsessed with glamor, literally spending billions on cosmetics, plastic surgery, personal trainers, diets, and anything else which can give us an edge and roll back the hands of time. There's nothing wrong with any of that, if it makes you feel better. But, with celebrity obsession increasingly common, and our youth constantly looking to their idols on television as examples of the ultimate in personal glitter, do we really know if what you see on the exterior is matching the interior?

I'm now forty-nine years old, a heartbeat away from the big 50 milestone. My looks have started diminishing because of Father Time and I've been trying for a while to keep up. I exercise, try my best to eat healthy whenever possible, and have even thought of going underneath the knife myself to shave away some stubborn, unwanted pounds. A George Clooney look-a-like I'm not. But, as I continue aging I'm trying to become more attractive underneath my skin; to be a better person, friend, and colleague to all.

What makes a person truly beautiful is the outlook they express to others, and how they interact on a personal, and social level. Do they really care about you? Not them, you. Would they prefer to give than receive, lend and not borrow, talk about what matters to someone else rather than making it all about themselves? Do they carry a reflection of God's love in their eyes? Do they want to give love as much as receiving it? When others talk about them do their expressions light up? Do they portray a positive light to the world, looking for ways of making it better? If they've been less than beautiful before, are they striving to wash away the ugliness?

I had a Grandmother that I dearly loved. She passed away over twenty-three years ago but my memories of her are ever present. She was a farmers wife, an extremely hard worker, and mother of six. Her and my Grandfather worked their fields in Texas from dawn til dusk in order to provide for their family. She was soft-spoken, and verbalized her words very carefully, not using any sort of eloquence or fancy dialect. Her personality was very down to earth but she could be tough as nails when it came to getting something done. Although money was never in abundance, she had a heart of gold, and did the best she could with what was earned. She wasn't a beauty queen by modern day standards, although most considered her attractive. But most importantly, she loved her family and circle of friends and always put them first. A Christian woman, and one I'm sure was welcomed with open arms when she went to be with God. Even her name was that of a flower, "Lilly."

What made my Grandmother beautiful wasn't the way she dressed or carried herself, it was how she made you feel while being around her. When I was a kid during the summer months, my sister and I would always go and spend time with her and my Grandfather, giving us city kids a taste of country living. We loved it. The open spaces, fishing in the local ponds, feeding of farm animals, and home-cooked meals were something to be cherished. There was lots of love, a small farmhouse that still holds so many memories. When I first entered the doorway of the wooden porch, I could always count on those outstretched arms and huge smile walking towards me from across the room. She made you feel special, a priority, a welcomed addition to her life and her to yours. Her inner glow always shined in everything she did. She was a beautiful woman on the inside and outside, having that rare, loving soul that's so rare to find.

Now, obviously a Grandmothers love is usually something special, and to compare her to everyone else isn't exactly fair. But, people like she was are just made to make others feel wonderful. That, in return, is what makes them so beautiful. That said, we should all strive to be more attractive to others, to make those in our lives sense that certain warm feeling when entering a room.

I was sitting in a restaurant recently, having some lunch and scanning a book in a corner table. There were several employees walking around, taking orders, and tending to their normal duties. After I finished eating and sat my plate aside, I turned my attention to the unread pages. A couple of minutes later, the kindest voice suddenly flowed through my ears. I looked up, and saw a wide smile staring back at me, belonging to a young lady with an obvious birth defect and slightly impaired speech. She was very angel-like, having that certain innocence and radiating glow that made me stop and take notice.

"How are you today," I said, handing her my plate.

Her smile widened, "Just fine, sir, can I get you something else?"

"No, not a thing." I sat for a moment and watched her while she discarded the plate. "Can I ask you something?"

She looked back, her eyes almost glistening. "Okay."

"You look really happy with that big smile, any particular reason?"

She darted at my plate sitting in her busboy container. "You ate your food, that means you really enjoyed it."

"I did, it was very good."

She scratched her head, smiled again, then turned away while saying, "Well, that's enough for me."

This young lady was living a life that many might look upon as being disadvantaged, and mundane. Yet, the few seconds I was around her made me see something truly striking. Being beautiful is an impression which a person leaves on others, and that impression is the true reflection of many fine characteristics of their own personality, inner charm, and qualities.

No matter how a person appears on the outer surface, their inner beauty is always looking to shine through. It's their desire to do so that makes all the difference.

Randy Mitchell is a writer of inspirational fiction and author of the novel, Sons In The Clouds.

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