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Choosing Beauty When the Last Thing You Feel is Beautiful

How do you choose to live a life of true beauty when beautiful is the last thing you feel?
I’ve been wrestling with this during the past year – it’s been a rough one for me to say the least. It all began with my trip to the Middle East which ended with a surprise stop in the City of Lights due to Hurricane Sandy. During a sacred time with God at a Paris church from the 1500s, I was felt inspired by a precious little girl named Daisy who had cancer to to shave my head. To cut off my long golden-brown locks.
Those first few days sans hair I had never felt so free in my life. Free of vanity. Free of any worry about my physical appearance. But shortly thereafter I had a major health crisis (details spared) that really put things to the test. I was put on a medication that made me cause twenty pounds. Overweight and bald, I was forced to find the place my real identity lies.
During this season I’m learning that true beauty isn’t looking your best. It’s looking for the best in others. It’s not so much about loving yourself as it is those in your life. As I’ve said before, “You will become more beautiful in one day by loving other people than you will in one year trying to get them to love you.”
Still with weight to lose, I am working the hard journey to return to my natural size in a healthy way– it has not been easy, but I’m choosing to discover beauty in others and myself along the way. I know my identity isn’t in the number on the scale of what size jeans I wear. My value is irrevocable, unshakable. 
Just like we can’t serve both God and the world, we can’t live of a life of true beauty and vanity. We must pick one or the other. I’m choosing beauty – true beauty. 
 

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This is part of the Choose Beauty Linkup—an ongoing series that focuses on topics related to beauty—what real beauty is, what makes us feel beautiful, how we pursue lasting beauty in our lives, the roots behind our body image issues, etc. Through our posts, we’ll share thoughts, experiences, inspirations, challenges and more with the hope of changing the voice about beauty that we’re hearing in our culture today. Read my previous posts in the series here, and join the conversation by hitting “click here to enter” below.

 

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply Alyssa Birchfield July 28, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Thank you for being so open about your insecurities, and having the faith to work through them. This has been an inspiring read!

  • Reply Meg July 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Hi! I don’t know you personally but I like your blog :)

    I think it is really brave that you chopped off your locks. I’m a professional counselor and work with a lot of clients struggling with self image, body image, self esteem. Sometimes I have a hard time with peoples’ self-esteem/self-image blogs because they’re professing authentic beauty while still looking like supermodels/still really valuing outward appearance. It’s hard for me to refer clients to these sites because there seems to be a disconnect. You seem to really practice what you preach.

    And how beautiful that your decision to shave your head was influenced by a girl going through chemo. That is real beauty!

    You are a pioneer, and I applaud it. Great post!

    • Reply Allie Marie Smith July 31, 2013 at 4:31 am

      Thank you Meg for your sweet words and encouragement. It means so much. xo

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