Don’t Be Afraid To Feel Beautiful

Don't Be Afraid To Feel Beautiful | Darling Magazine

We’ve all had moments where we’ve looked in the mirror and not exactly been pleased with the reflection staring back at us. We poke and prod. We frown and grown. These are the days that we are hyper-critical of ourselves, noticing every last blemish or out of place hair. We look away, unsatisfied and defeated.

For many of us, this reaction to the mirror happens more often than not.

But every now and again we catch a glimpse of ourselves and we love what we see. Maybe it’s a good hair day or a favorite outfit. Maybe it’s a summer glow. Or perhaps it’s coming from a deeper place; a contentment, joy and confidence that is making you feel simply radiant. These are special moment. It’s in these moments where we lay aside the lies that continually tell us that we aren’t enough and are able to see clearly how beautiful we really are. We feel comfortable with our appearance and don’t feel the need to critique and criticize ourselves. For many of us, these moments don’t happen nearly enough. When they do, however, they are to be cherished.

Our culture has done a good job of making us doubt our beauty. We measure ourselves against unrealistic standards, surrounded by airbrushed images. Because of these impossible standards we are often afraid to really love our bodies and our appearance. Many of us can’t accept the truth that we are, indeed, beautiful in our own natural skin.

I want to encourage you, darling reader, to spend some time thinking about the last time that you felt gorgeous. Maybe it was your wedding day or prom or another special occasion when you got all gussied up. Perhaps it was ladies night or date night or even a time spent in nature. I know that generally I feel the most beautiful fresh off the beach, with salt in my hair and cheeks touched by the sun. Whatever it is for you, take some time to write about it. Make a list of all the things that make you feel beautiful, confident and radiant.

And then the next time you look in the mirror and feel the similar sting of disappointment remember what you wrote. It’s so easy for us to find beauty in others, but not nearly as easy to find it within ourselves. Don’t be afraid to celebrate your own beauty, your body and the uniqueness of you! The more comfortable we get with loving ourselves and feeling beautiful the more confident we will be experiencing the truth on a more regular basis; the truth that we are vibrant and beautiful, just the way we are.

Photo by Ngoc Nguyen

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Erin Willis-McNeely is a currently a Masters student in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theologically Seminary. When she is not a slave to the schoolbooks, she is a newlywed, a nanny, a music lover and a mama to one crazy puppy.

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