Monday, February 22, 2010

Schönheit und Anmut

We aren't even a week into Lent and I already have a lot to say about my Lenten sacrifice.

Honestly, I can't even call it a sacrifice. What I'm gaining is far more than what I have given up.

Let me start off with what I've been struggling with. First of all, I have never felt more vulnerable than I do now. Wearing make-up gives a lot of women a confidence about them. I know that all of you - male or female - can agree that when you look good, you feel good, thus, bringing on a confident stride. Am I right?

Anyway, so when you don't feel very pretty or very "put together", you lose a little of that confidence and gain a little vulnerability. Or maybe that's just what has been happening to me. I can't be sure.

I firmly believe that any human's biggest fear is to not be enough. We're scared of being inadequate. I'm petrified. We're scared we won't be pretty enough, handsome enough, feminine enough, masculine enough, smart enough, strong enough, healthy enough, and so on. For who are we scared we won't be enough for? Mankind, maybe? The opposite sex? Our family and friends? I'm sure it's different with each person. The answer may not even be very important.

So, yeah, I feel like I'm out on this limb asking to be seen past my make-up and into my heart. I'm asking myself to believe that beauty is not skin-deep. I'm learning that the depth of beauty is so vast that to define it as simply your outward appearance would be a lie.

Now here I am. Mascara-less. Blush-less. Concealer-less. It's EXTREMELY humbling but EXTREMELY empowering.

Like I said before, I'm gaining so much from this it's crazy. My friends have really helped me these past few days. My guy friends have just blown me away with their strength for me in my time of mental weakness. My sisters have been such examples of beauty that one can't help but thank the heavens for their smiles.

I know I said I've never felt more vulnerable during this time, but I've also never felt more beautiful in my whole life.

I'm not only doing this for myself. I'm doing this so I can learn more about beauty so that I might be able to help my sisters! In society today, we've lost the truth of what it means to be beautiful. Is it that our grandparents just forgot to tell us that secret? Why didn't they tell their children? How and when did it get lost in the transition of generations? I've learned what I know from Mary and you can bet your life I'll be sharing this little secret with my sons and daughters.

I am a child of God. Beauty was instilled in me from day one. By shining a light on myself and being seen, I can encourage others to do the same. I want you to know how beautiful you are. When I have been going to mass lately, I've been envisioning myself standing in front of Christ as His bride. That may seem a little out of our comfort zones. Trust me, it was weird at first. But it's helped me to believe that maybe I am beautiful because I am the bride of the Holy Father. I am His heart and He is mine.

Beauty shouldn't be kept hidden, my hearts. Could you help me tell the world about it? Let's not keep this a secret anymore, okay?