Contagiously Beautiful

Scrolling through Instagram you pass by hundreds of pictures. Proms, graduations, summer vacations, perfect couples, flawless selfies, you name it, it’s there. At first it’s a harmless scroll, killing time while you wait for the next thing in your day. But then…. the “I wish..” downward spiral begins.

“I wish my hair looked as good as hers”

“I wish I had a boyfriend as good as hers, or even a boyfriend at all.”

“I wish I had a body that was summer ready all the time like her.”

“I wish….”

Whatever you “wish” you start comparing to your life, and not only comparing, but criticizing. Before you know it you’re harmless time killer is now a mood killer and an attitude bringer.

We all do this — maybe it’s not on Instagram and maybe it’s not as obvious but we do it. We’re human, we compare, we find flaws, and we hone in on those, forgetting how beautifully and wonderfully made we are.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but honestly, that’s only one side of beauty — it’s how we, as the beholder, see it. What if we changed the phrase to “beauty IS the eye of the beholder”. By taking out the “in” we change the phrase from us having our own opinions and excuses for what we call beautiful to a universal measurement for beauty.

Let’s face it, everyone has a different look, everyone is unique and there is no set standard for beauty. If you don’t believe me, ask a group of people who their celebrity crush is — you’ll find out right away who goes for the athletic look, the music/artsy look, the country boy look or whatever else they’re interested in. If we consistently judge beauty on the outward appearance we will forever and always be disappointed.

When beauty is in the eye of the beholder we still compare, we judge, we create our own version of what we feel is acceptable, and when people question us we throw the phrase back at them. When beauty is the eye of the beholder, suddenly it’s no longer how we think beauty looks, but rather our ability to find beauty in everyone and everything.

No more comparison. No more judgements. Just straight authentic beauty.

This lesson really hit home for me in the last few months. When the guy I was head over heels for dropped me like a dime for another girl who I believed was skinnier and prettier. Personally, I thought she was beautiful and I told him that, but in an effort to cheer myself up, I started the comparison game.

“She may be skinnier, but you’re more athletic”

“She’s a total party girl — he’ll have fun taking her home to mama…” 

“Her cheek bones are extremely noticeable…so weird”

On and on they went — until I realized it really wasn’t making me feel any better. If anything it was making me more upset because I started to feel I was better yet I still lost. I was tearing down another girl who I didn’t even know just to hopefully give myself a glimmer of confidence in the situation. Was tearing her down really going to make me feel better? No, not really. We may think it will, but all it does is keeps our mind dwelling on the situation. It keeps us self-focused which more often than not leads to self-destruction.

Maybe it’s just me, but do people really enjoy being around the “mean girl”, the girl who constantly is judging others and pointing out their flaws just to make her and her friends feel better? Cuz I sure don’t… I  would rather spend our time around the girl who finds beauty in everything. Instead of seeing a girl at the mall and judging her for her outfit, she compliments the girls hair. Instead of making a negative statement about a couples relationship, she points out how cute they look together (and genuinely means it).

You see, when we start to point out the beauty in others it starts to reflect back in ourselves. God created us in His image (Gen. 1:27) — therefore we are ALL created beautifully. Where our beauty shines through is not in how we physically compare to others, but rather in how we lift others up. Are we constantly pointing out the beauty we see God’s created? Or are we dwelling on the negative the devil’s brought to our attention?

When we find the beauty in others we start to genuinely see the beauty in ourselves. We stop comparing ourselves, we stop trying to measure up to anything, and we start to fully believe and understand that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). We have a healthy confidence in who God has made us, so we don’t have a desire to tear anyone else down in an attempt to make us feel better. We can give out genuine compliments without any back minded thoughts. We live life so joyfully and freely because we start to admire the uniqueness of each individual.

Honestly, this goes so much deeper than just admiring peoples outward appearances. Have you ever talked to someone who is truly passionate about something, I find people become so alive and absolutely beautiful when they start talking about their passion. My friends are beautiful because they love on kids all day as their teachers, they’re beautiful because they care so much about the heartbreak in this world, they’re beautiful because they’re unique and don’t need to fit in. They’re beautiful because our Creator made them that way — no extras needed.

So go be beautiful — see the world the way God created it, beautiful, unique, and full of life. Build others up, learn to love yourself, not for how you measure up to others but for how uniquely you you are, spread love and joy and you will become the most beautiful person. If you don’t believe me, just try it — for one week challenge yourself every single time you see someone, to notice something beautiful about them. Their heart for others, their contagious laugh, their unique clothing style, whatever it is notice it and mention it. After a week or two of doing this, it will become your natural instinct. No more noticing someones outfit and automatically comparing it to your own. No more pointing out someone else’s flaws in order to build yourself up. Instead, you’ll notice others for how beautiful they are, you’ll be filled with more joy, and you’ll have a whole new perspective on life.

Beauty is the eye of the beholder — see the world beautifully and I promise you will become contagiously beautiful.

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