We spend a lot of time focusing on beauty. Let’s be honest – it is hard not to – we are surrounded by it – the covers of our magazines scream weight loss, healthy hair, banning fine lines. Movies and television highlight the most beautiful of all: best make ups, the thinnest starlets, and the finest clothing.
And naturally, it is always so easy to say, “it is what is inside that matters“. But do we really believe it? There are times when life slaps you with a little reminder of inner beauty – and the importance of recognizing it, providing you the gut check you need. And suddenly, you realize, maybe Snow White isn’t singing about finding Prince Charming, after all. As she flits from one small woodland creature to the next, you imagine her message is one of self-confidence, strength and inner beauty.
It was just one of those little moments…. that hit be right between the eyes this week - a mother-daughter-heart-to-heart. Honestly, I was frustrated. Her attitude? My goodness – the ATTITUDE. Where does the sassiness come from at SIX? Exasperated, I demanded she look me directly in the eyes. I wanted all the focus her 6-year old heart could muster….
When I was semi-certain I had her attention – we were nose to nose, I asked her to look into my eyes, “What do you see?” I expected to hear anything from sadness to anger to even ‘just blue’.
Instead she said, “Mommy, I see me.”
And with that, she had MY full attention.
This is what my child sees when she looks at me: a reflection of herself, of who she is now, who she is learning to be and who she will one day become. And that reflection? I’m projecting it from the inside – not from the outside.
Delaney isn’t looking to me to learn the color of her hair or her eyes, but the shade of her soul. She is trusting me to reflect heart, to share kindness, to practice patience and show love. All of these? They are the qualities of inner beauty. They require practice – not in the same way we learn to apply eyeshadow or dress for our body type – but in the ‘I-must-do-this-every-day’ sort of way, lest I forget how.
Because if I forget, the reflection she sees lacks warmth, lacks depth…. and that is not the example of inner beauty I want her to witness. Or, for that matter, to learn.
So with this lesson, I know.
When my children look at me, they see themselves… and it is who I am, not how I look that matters.