We put ourselves through so much pain in our search for beauty. We get needles in our faces, lasers to burn off our skin, starve ourselves to be thinner, have hair ripped out of our bodies with waxing, threading, or more lasers. Man, beauty is pain… or is it?
On a recent trip to Italy, I felt so beautiful. And I don’t mean just like I had a good hair day, y’all. I felt like Beyoncé walking down the streets of Florence with a fan blowing my hair and my own theme music playing as I sashayed my hips down the street. I felt THAT beautiful.
I look back at the photos of my trip and wonder what was the magical ingredient to make me look so different there? I didn’t use filters on the photos, I didn’t get a spray tan before the trip, I didn’t go on some crash starvation diet.
I was looking through pictures from the trip and talking about it with my husband one day, still perplexed about what made me look and feel so much more beautiful than I do at home. He smiled softly and said, “Yeah. We call that the glow.” I looked at him bewildered like he had been holding back some Confucius secret to life from me. He continued as he smiled looking through the photos, “It’s when you’re so happy, truly happy inside and out, that it just shines out of you.”
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Dr. wayne dyer
Was that it? Happiness is beauty? What about Botox? I thought back on that trip and realized that it was truly a life-changing trip for me. I flew around the globe by myself to meet a friend in Italy and spent 10 glorious days exploring that beautiful country. I felt empowered, strong, confident, and proud of myself for overcoming. At that point in my life, I had already overcome a divorce, the challenges of being a stepmom, becoming a caregiver, multiple miscarriages, failed IVF, and failed adoptions. Certainly, I could overcome the fear of trying something new. And I did. And it was glorious.
The entire time I was in Italy with my friend, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so happy! So excited to sip wine in Tuscany, shop for a fabulous new bag in Florence, tour ancient olive groves, and immerse myself in the experience of real Italian cuisine.
So, the secret to this newfound glow? Happiness. Over the past year, I’ve done a deep dive into my health, researching everything I can get my hands on. What I’ve learned is that the trauma, the heaviness that we carry in our hearts, shows up on the outside, too. It affects every single cell in our body. And it manifests in each of us differently, but for me, I definitely, quite literally, wear my emotions.
Now, I make my emotions and my health a priority. I take time for prayer, meditation, yoga, strength training, and anything else that I can squeeze into my schedule for my own well-being. It’s certainly not perfect. Sometimes it’s a 10-minute meditation in the morning before a busy day, or a half-ass yoga session on my back porch. Other days I can spoil myself and fill a lot of my time with things that recharge my soul. My point? Take care of you. I tell my girlfriends this on a regular basis because I think we all need this gentle reminder. Take care of you, mama, and let your light shine through.