I want to preface this blog by saying it is more of a question than an answer.
I have been sharing recently about my past struggles in seeking validation from others and how I have been finding more freedom in being content with who I am. I have been learning to accept the moles on my face and even to thank God for them as a perfect reminder that my worth is not based on having a flawless appearance. I also no longer cringe at the number on the scale or the size of my pants. I want to be healthy and strong, not a certain size or weight. I’ve even found joy in discovering the new wrinkles forming around my eyes and the backs of my hands. How grateful I am to get to live long enough to develop each and every new life-line written on my skin.
Of course, I still struggle from time to time, but I am experiencing more and more the peace that comes from loving my body just as it is, even as it ages and as it changes.
But this has led me to a new dilemma.
What does it look like to live a life where you truly no longer want your self-worth to be wrapped around the way you look?
I find myself wondering, if I claim to believe that I am worthy just the way I am, do I no longer wear make-up? Do I no longer dress differently for various occasions? Do I not get my hair done or shave my legs?!?
What does this new normal look like?
I’m still not totally sure, but I had a thought one day that I have been examining, and I’d love
to hear your thoughts on the matter.
I had been watching Downton Abbey at the time, and in this episode, they were decorating their manor for a wedding. If you have ever seen this show, then you know their estate is absolutely stunning just the way it is. It doesn’t need any added decorations to be made beautiful. But for this very joyous occasion, I watched as they adorned it with flowers and tapestries, ribbons, and candles.
After the show was over, the word adorned stuck with me. This realization that they were not decorating the manor to cover anything up, but instead, they were garnishing it with other magnificent things for a special occasion.
They were adding beauty to beauty.
I have carried this thought with me as I get dressed for certain occasions or decide whether or not I want to do my make-up for the day. I am beginning to ask myself during my self-care routine, am I using this to lovingly care for my body, or am I using this in desperation to maintain a cultural expectation? Am I putting on a certain outfit as a way to express my authentic self, or am I seeking the approval of others? Am I applying this makeup to cover up parts of myself that I do not like, or am I using this as an opportunity to add beauty to beauty? There is a special joy in the painting of one’s face like the wonderful masterpiece it is. When the perfect shade of eye shadow matches the hue of pink on your lips, it becomes a true expression of art.
When I am getting ready to present myself to the world, do I feel as though I am adorning something magnificent as a celebration of life? Or am I anxiously trying to cover up the parts of me that I don’t want others to see?
In all that I do, am I being genuine to who I have been created to be, or am I trying to use clothes and make-up to fit a mold others expect of me?
I think when approached correctly, that maybe it’s not really about whether we wear the make-up or not. Or whether we wear a dress instead of sweatpants. The true importance lies in the reasons why we are doing all these things.
It’s a funny thing, the word intention. It can take two of the exact same actions and turn them into two completely different results.
So, what are my intentions? I guess this has been the question weighing on my mind lately.
This is the core of what I have been pondering, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you struggle with this same concept? Do you agree with what I have shared here? How have you reconciled the truth of loving who you are with the joy of adorning oneself? Please share with me your wisdom and ideas. I am really eager to learn from others in this area.