As women, we spend countless amounts of time in our lives focusing on the things about ourselves that we aren’t happy with. We stand in the mirror and get lost in the trans of our gaze. We see stretch marks and round bellies where we once carried our children, wrinkles and lines on our face that we developed from years of smiling and laughing, and a tint of shimmery gray around our hairline indicative of the wisdom that we have gained when simple moments turned into not so easy learning experiences.
Over the last few weeks I have been reaching out to women in my life who I see as beautiful in every way and asked them a very simple question knowing well enough that the answer would take thought, heart, possibly tears, and definitely soul searching. I thought that I would escape having to deep think myself, but someone turned the question around on me, so my answer is in there as well, at the end.
What quality about who you are makes you feel beautiful? I put no timeline on how long they were given to respond, and some took longer than others. My gut tells me that if I asked for a list of qualities they didn’t like, the response would be nothing short of immediate, but that was not the case. I wanted them to dig deep and the responses were astonishing.
I hope you enjoy reading what these incredible women had to say as much as I did…
What quality about who you are makes you feel beautiful?
Susan V.- My willingness to give to people. I am a giver not a taker and people who are giving are the most beautiful.
Andonia D. – I have always felt that my nature to be loving and caring has carried me through the times when my weight was scary high. I dip into the ways which I have helped people and affected their lives when I feel rejected or judged.
Jodi P.- My ability to connect with anyone. Quality is different from features, so I pick that.
Amanda H.- Empathy for people when I’m working with people. I see how much it can help that people feel listened to.
Marie B.- I’m pretty laid back and I try to create an environment that is nurturing for others. I love Jesus yet I don’t push Him on anyone. It is the Jesus in me, however, that others are drawn to. That is true beauty and love. I am grateful God gave me self confidence and an unconditional love for self and others. I am blessed.
Lisa N.- Having been through a lot myself, I am very sensitive and realize everyone is fighting their own battle. I have compassion and a desire to help and do good for others. I cry when I see people’s dreams come true and like to see people happy and feeling good; it’s infectious and makes me filled with hope and hope makes me feel beautiful.
Sandy S.- My heart, my loyalty, my empathy. I always appreciate my Irish eyes which have been passed down through generations. I love with every ounce I have left in me. I am loyal and 100% real and true but it is never reciprocated. I am empathetic not by choice, but it is who I am and it overcomes me. I love more and it makes me more loyal; huts me a ton because I take on emotions around me.
Alison- My nurturing instincts and my heart, how I always care about people who are close to me and love doing things for them.
Amy R.- I feel like being genuine makes me feel beautiful. No time for nonsense.
Courtney R.- I think we tend to lean towards outward appearance when we think of being beautiful, but if I had to say another attribute of how I feel beauty in my mind it would be how I think I make others feel and what I do to give back or help others… I’d rather have a beautiful and giving soul over physical beauty any day of the week.
Maggie- Being a mother, being a woman, a nurse. Being pansexual; polyamorous. Being Puerto Rican and bilingual. I can sing; I am relatively funny.
Kristen V- My slamming personality. I’m just not afraid to live unapologetically. 100% myself after years of quieting my personality and dimming my light to make others more comfortable. I’m loud… I’m super fun… I’m hilarious… and I’m not sorry.
Olivia- My bubbly personality. Pretty much how I love to be happy and make people laugh.
Grace T.- My sense of humor.
Julia- What makes me feel beautiful is being with people I love, laughing and allowing myself to just be in the present moment. Whenever I’m stressing about the past or future it robs me from the ability to appreciate what is right in front of me. When I can recognize life is beautiful, I feel beautiful.
Allison N.- My willingness to always come to someone’s aid and help with something (some people think I’m crazy).
Lisa B.- I don’t sugar coat my brutal honesty and sarcasm.
Brittany C. - My silly, goofy, funny personality.
And lastly, thinking really hard about myself, I would have to say, what makes me feel most beautiful is my tenacious spirit; I give of myself unconditionally. If I am invested in something or someone it is with my whole heart. I look only for the good and work hard to make sure that I am putting in all I have, to give and that it is genuine and true. I love to see others smile and hear them laugh. I love to provide a space and time for people to be their authentic selves. Holding doors, paying for a stranger’s coffee, bringing people together, and leaving my footprint on the world truly feels like my purpose. When I stand back in the corner, silently, and watch everything unfold, that is when I truly feel the most beautiful.
I wish everyone the happiest of Thanksgivings. Don’t forget to be thankful for yourself and to eat that fourth piece of pie!