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Want to be beautiful? Start from the inside

Lately I have been designing the bathroom for my girls. When deciding paint colors, I really wanted a purple room and since Lil Bug really wanted a blue bedroom, the hall bath became the room that was painted purple. Since doing so, I then started trying to decide what theme I wanted to go with the purple bathroom and what artwork I wanted to make for it. I have thought a lot about this because it is a room that my girls are going to spend a lot of time just getting ready each day. What sort of impression did I want to convey in a room where we focus so much attention on how we look? I decided I wanted to go with a Beauty and the Beast theme.

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The fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast has long since been one of my favorites and I have always loved the character of Belle in Disney’s version. She was someone who didn’t need things or praise. She was confident in who she was and in being confident in herself was beautiful. She was different from others but was okay with that. But, what I really love about the tale was that she saw beauty in someone that others’ couldn’t see the beauty in. When others focused on the outside, she focused on the inside. To me, that is where her true beauty lies. Her ability to see beauty in others.
It wasn’t about appearances to Belle. She came to see that there was beauty in the beast, that he was worthy of love. We can all do that. Let’s strive to see that others are worthy of love. And that we as well are worthy of love.

The other thing that made Belle so beautiful was how comfortable she was with being herself. She didn't care that she was different from others. She was confident in who she was and it showed. Confidence is the ability to love who you are without putting others down. It uplifts rather than tears down. As introverts, it is possible to be self-confident in our own quiet way. Embrace who you are, including your ability to ponder in your time alone. It is our quirks and personal tendencies that make us who we are. When we embrace who we are, it shines through, and the beauty of who we are is seen.

I remember in elementary school, reading a book that taught me another aspect of true beauty. It has stuck with me all these years. It’s called, “Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale" Not only is it beautifully illustrated, but the moral of the story is even more beautiful. It tells the story of a man and his two beautiful daughters. One was vain and failed to see others. The other daughter not only saw others but she sought to help them and unknowingly helped the prince as well. When the prince chose his bride, he chose the one who was beautiful on the inside. Her beauty was found in her ability to help others.
Who do you see as someone beautiful? What qualities do they possess?
I love this quote from Audrey Hepburn: "True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years."

The other day I had the opportunity to get to know some amazing women from my church, leaders of the young women aged 12-18. What did I see as I got to know these women better? Beauty. Radiating from within them. They were excited to be there and ready to help the youth in our church. Each time I make a positive connection with others I am amazed to realize that I am surrounded by beautiful people. They radiate that beauty within their souls. These young women leaders were radiating light as they looked forward to helping the youth.

My hope for my girls as I decorate this bathroom, is that they will understand what true beauty is, that when they look into the mirror, they won’t look down on themselves for not looking a certain way, but that they will look into the mirror and see the light shining within them. The beauty that lies within. I hope that they will see someone who seeks to find beauty rather than put it down. I hope that they will see someone who brings others up instead of puts others down. And I hope the same for you.

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