Beauty

It was in 8th or 9th grade. We were going to be hosting a huge career day with classes being offered on a wide variety of professions. Everything from creative writing, teaching, law enforcement, engineering – you name it. We had space open to sign up for 3-4 classes. There were so many to choose from, so MANY I was interested in. I immediately signed up for a couple of my favorites – creative writing, and teaching – but I had one space left. There were several classes I was interested in, several classes that would help me to learn about and perhaps cultivate my interest in areas I felt I had talent. But almost without thinking about it, I penciled in the name of the final class I would be taking. Modeling. Was I honestly interested in becoming a cover girl? No. Not even close. However, every 13 – 14 year old girl who considered herself “popular” was signing up for that class. Was I popular? No, not really. But I guess I kinda wanted to be.

I remember sitting near the back on the far right side of the classroom, listening to the professional fashionistas expounding the details of whether skin has a cool or warm undertone, what fabrics compliment your coloring, how to properly condition your hair, and what seasons you should avoid wearing white, and all the while I was sitting there – not really enjoying myself, but wishing against hope that one of those “experts” on beauty would turn my way and say “You’re pretty!”.

Well, that never happened, obviously. Why was that important to me then? Why was it more important to me than taking a class I was interested in, or a class I could have benefitted from? Did their opinion matter to me THAT much? I’m not sure – maybe it did. But I think having them say it in front of every popular girl in my grade would have mattered even more 🙂

Funny how superficial I was then – how so many of us were. Looking back, I would say that I was fairly pretty. I certainly didn’t think so then, and I’m not sure I would have seen TRUE beauty if it jumped up and bit me on the nose! I was focused on the wrong thing.

Strange how, 17 years later, I still find myself focusing on the wrong things at times. I consider myself more mature than my 13 year old counterpart, but am I really? How often do I look at the cover of a magazine and immediately berate myself for getting out of shape? How often do I look at a friend’s home and think mine is just pain ugly? How often do I see someone wearing the fancy clothes, driving the fancy car, and secretly wish deep down that I could be in her place? How stupid is that? How short-sighted?

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what is beautiful. I mean TRULY and LASTINGLY beautiful. It’s funny what comes to mind. My daughter helping her 4 year old sister put a My Little Pony band-aid on her little finger. A good samartian pulling over to the side of an iciy road to tow a stranger out of the ditch. A husband rolling over in the night to stroke his wife’s back after they’ve had an argument. A woman reaching for the hand of a woman sitting beside her in Relief Society, who is obviously touched by the topic being discussed. These things are beautiful to my mind. As Mary Poppins might put it – it’s the tuppance that buys the things that are most meaningful.

You can call it a resolution – I’ll call it a goal, one that I plan to write down and chart my progress – but I plan to look for the beauty in life. Instead of anticipating the coming storms, I plan to look for the tiny rays of sun, then hold on for dear life until the darkness passes. I plan to TRY to see the cup as half full 🙂 I want to follow the counsel of Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley when he said,

” I am suggesting that as we go through life we try to ‘accentuate the positive’. I am asking that we look a little deeper for good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.”

I am going to apply this to my interaction with those around me, but also to how I view (and speak to) myself. I find I am often sarcastic when I talk about my talents, and especially when I talk to others or myself about how I look. However, I don’t believe true beauty is found in how we look, but in what we DO. I want to be beautiful because I serve others, because I am cheerful, because I uplift and bless. In short, I want to be beautiful because when people look at me, they will see a reflection of Christ shining through.

Wow. Is that a tall order? I think, for me, it is. I hope that at the very least, I can be a bit more “beautiful” by the end of the year than I am right now. THAT I can do.

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11 thoughts on “Beauty

  1. But let’s face it Bobbi, you are beautiful, on the outside, and the in. I think you reek with talent and I am so thrilled to call you a friend, not just a bloggy one, but a real friend. Even my husband agrees that you are one pretty amazing person. This is a great goal! Enjoy it, you deserve it.

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  2. you can only be as beautiful as you allow yourself to be!i have struggled with this myself Bobbi…still do most days but i am dealing with it and putting a more positive spin on my perception of me.hugzgood luck with your goal…shouldnt be too hard for an amazing person like yourself!Pennyhttp://www.newfieink.com

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  3. Amen Sister! I think you spoke for every single Female that has ever lived here on earth.AMAZING Post! And you are AMAZINGLY beautiful on the inside out!!!

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  4. Oh Bobbi, I am absolutely amazed when beautiful, talented people see themseleves in a different light then others see them. I think this will be good for you. In fact I think it would be good for every woman. Women are always jugdeing themselves to harshly. At least I know I can do that at times. Well Bobbi you have inspired me. I think this will be a good thing to do this next year.P.S. I think you are absolutely stunning and I wish I had your, work ethic and your natural talent to do anything crafty.

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  5. This was such a beautiful post! I love that quote by President Hinckley and am going to borrow it for my own blog. My word this year is “thankful” and it was this quote that sums up why I chose it! Thankyou!

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  6. I try to only compare myself to MY best me and not to others. Easier said than done sometimes. I echo everyone’s comments about you and think you have a beauty that will last the test of time because it is more than just physical. I think everyone would like to look better or drive that flashy car but those things don’t last and you never know-one day you may drive that flashy car. But I’m betting you won’t think you’re a better person because of it and that you’ll really appreciate it. We still rent our home and it can be challenging for me to not be envious of those whose mortgage payments are a permanent investment in their future. I keep a gratitude journal that I try to write in weekly and it truly helps me keep perspective. Loved the insightful post!

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  7. Good start of the year, Bjo!But don’t lose ALL your sarcasm! We won’t know how to communicate should you learn a NEW language! 😉 I like the FUNNY sarcasm, so let’s not TOTALLY rid your life of it! lolYou’re truly beautiful in ALL accounts. And I will enjoy watching your journey!

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  8. Great post Bobbi!!Grade 8. I remember that day also. The only class I remember taking was a broadcasting one. That stuck out because I really really enjoyed meeting Barb Higgins!You are a beautiful person inside and out! I love your posts keep it up, they definatly show your beauty through them 🙂

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