What Makes A Woman Beautiful?
“ABIGAIL, GET OVER HERE THIS MINUTE! STOP RUNNING AROUND; I’VE TOLD YOU FOR THE LAST TIME!” Loud-Talking Angry Dad (LTAD) bellowed over the Girls department.
“YOU ARE NOT LISTENING! GO TRY THIS DRESS ON RIGHT NOW!” he continued. Yelling across the room at his child, two or three levels above the volume that was necessary to be heard. I am confident the intensity of his rant was felt several departments over.
Well…as I mentioned in this post, shopping with the youngest offspring isn’t the most fabulous. On this occasion, we were on the hunt for a Father/Daughter Dance ensemble (as was the entire population of our city), and I meant to complete our mission and skedaddle pronto. We were still scouring picked-over racks for a dress for sister when the LTAD rolled up on the scene. After suffering through a half dozen of his barks, my nerves crackled like an electric fence. He made me so anxious that I bolted with dresses and my child flapping behind me. I sought sanctuary in the Juniors department at the front of the store. I parted the clothes on a circular rack, crawled inside, parked in its center, slid the clothes back together, drew a deep breath, hid from the world, and ate a peanut butter cookie.
Okay. Not really. But that would’ve been the best.
And do you have that friend who’s always critical? Her address is in the negative space of life. All the time. If it’s sunny, it’s too hot. If the kids are playing, they’re making too much of a mess. If she loses weight, it’s not where she wanted to lose it. GEEZ! I find that I refrain from noting anything positive…knowing it’ll be dashed to the ground like an overripe watermelon. And if I’m not really mindful…I’ll start to spin my own brand of negative in her presence.
Or what about the tiny girl twirling and singing to herself, oblivious to all the world around her? Have you ever noticed how she makes you feel? How your face smiles without thought and your insides delight in her delight? How you really just want to join her?
Although it’s not something we usually think much about, we elicit a response in those around us. People feel something when they are with us. We can evoke anxiety in others like Loud-Talking Angry Dad, negativity like Critical Friend, joy like Twirling Girl, or any other feeling. And tucked away in that truth we find the residence of beauty:
A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough…A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest…She exudes a sense of calm, a sense of rest, and invites those around her to rest as well….A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be and the room to become. – Captivating, John and Stasi Eldredge
A beautiful woman invites others to feel at peace around her. Beautiful is an easy smile. Nothing forced or fake about it. It’s a well-worn, favorite pair of jeans. It’s a drop your shoulders and breathe deeply kinda thing. It’s a woman who makes others more confident in her presence, especially her man. She is so at home in her own skin that others feel more comfortable in theirs around her. There is no striving in her that generates tension. There is no artifice that shames. In the presence of a beautiful woman our souls exhale and enjoy. This beauty looks like a tee shirt and shorts, flip flops, shades, sandy toes, and a genuine grin, whipped by wind-tossed hair. It has no weight limit and is timeless. Ageless. Beautiful is a tranquility that draws others and keeps them returning for the respite it extends. And when we allow the world to accost our rest, girls, we sacrifice the only authentic beauty we have to offer.