Inner beauty

There would be no point in looking beautiful on the outside if every time we opened our mouths something horrible came out of it. Beauty comes from within.

What does it mean to be beautiful from the inside out?

My mind goes to a film I once saw called ‘The Elephant Man,’ who was a gentle, gentle soul. Marred by a disease at birth that left him permanently disfigured, The Elephant Man was frightening to look at; but his wonderful personality resonated with me.

His story teaches us about life, compassion, humility and humanity and above all one man’s determination to prove that just because he looks different on the outside doesn’t mean he is not worthy of love, admiration and friendship. He was a kind, caring and above all, a good-natured man, who was looking for acceptance.

He wanted to live a normal life without being under the glare of the media spotlight. He wanted people to accept him. He wanted to live his life the way he chose without being rebuked, stared at, ridiculed or provoked from those people that thought he should be in a circus so that people could laugh at him.

I believe beauty comes from within. That’s where it starts and what counts and we don’t do enough of it. We’re too quick to judge people’s appearance. I believe we can all have beautiful qualities whether we choose to use them or not and although pressures from society to behave a certain way and stress get in the way; neither are an excuse.

Back to basics on this. We must start by being kind to ourselves. We must take time to learn how to look after ourselves, we cannot even contemplate to look and be kind to anyone else without that. It starts and ends with us.

1 Feb, 2011

10 thoughts on “Inner beauty

  1. So true Ilana and very well put.

    I think as humans it is in our nature to judge immediately on appearance, but we have to teach ourselves to look beyond that. I think I have been able to do that and teach it to my kids.

    When I see how my sisters judge people by their appearance or clothing it makes me cringe. I can’t believe we come from the same family but they are adults now and all I can do is express my opinion.

    I will often say, ‘but I bet he/she is a super nice person’ or something along those lines, to try to make them see what they are doing. Its hard to deal with people like that.

    1. You are so right Lisa, but I believe a lot of what we play out in our lives we have learned from our parents. I think each generation have different values which they impart on their children, although not in every case.

      Children have so much to compete with, so they don’t always hold on to the values they’ve been taught, but hopefully it’s something they will always go back to, as long as the foundations have been put in place.

  2. Unfortunately people tend to not look beyond the surface sometimes which is a shame.

    I myself have found that the people I value the most are the people who get to know me as a person and look beyond my outward appearance.

    I always said that if they cannot look behind my disability and see what lies underneath then they are not worth knowing. I want to be valued as a person. We are people first who just happen to have a disability.

  3. I can completely identify with the Elephant Man, as I know what it’s like to be treated like a freak without people really bothering to get to know you.

    I spent most of my childhood wondering if I did belong in a circus, which really did a number on my self-esteem!

    I’m just trying to move beyond that now so I can lead a somewhat normal life.

    1. Thanks Randy for your comment. I think most of us who deal with something not necessarily a disability can be made to feel like John Maverick (‘The Elephant Man’) must have felt.

      I am so pleased though, that you are trying now to move beyond those years.

  4. I agree with you on all points.

    I was ridiculed for my body shape and no one really knew me for who I was at that time in my life. I’ve changed but I can tell people remember the girl I used to be.

    Now I have a new disfigurement and I can tell when people notice it.

    People can be so judgmental. I’m glad I don’t judge people on their looks. I accept people for who they are on the inside.

    1. I know from my own experiences Lisa that there are still those people who don’t allow others to just live their lives and be who they are, given with what they deal with.

      Circles of friends come and go for those very reasons. Sorry you’ve had to go through that too.

  5. People are often very quick to make first impressions that are based upon appearance. This is unfortunate because it doesn’t do them or you any justice.

    Growing up facing a number of challenges from wheelchairs, to crutches, to leg braces, I faced a lot of that type of adversity. Fortunately most of the time people come around and see what really matters.

    Acceptance should be something that society as a whole needs to broaden and embrace further.

    1. LeAnna I am so sorry to hear of your problems of acceptance, but you are absolutely right, acceptance should be something society as a whole broadens and embraces… we are moving in the right direction, just not quick enough.

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