Why You are Beautiful

by Jo Lawrence-Mills

Look at yourself in the mirror and at first perhaps you will feel disgust and shame because that's what you were taught to feel. But allow yourself to feel disgust and shame, and know they are not 'you', only feelings moving. And let thoughts appear in the mind like 'ugly' and 'fat' and 'bad' and 'broken' and know that they are just words, and familiar, and old. Let the mind chatter away and feel your feelings too.

You can love yourself by also loving the part that doesn't love yet, or trust yet.

Allowing all of you to be reflected now.

Begin to see yourself through the eyes of a loving mother who sees you as precious even if you have pimples or deformities or rashes or birthmarks, even if you have half a face or missing limbs. You have to see yourself through these bigger eyes, eyes of pure loving attention, eyes that do not judge but allow judgements too. Your eyes have been too small up until now. You were taught by people who hated themselves and you got infected. Until you looked at yourself today.

And the medicine now is naked, choiceless attention; being as spacious as the mirror itself, making room for thoughts and feelings but not mistaking them for the truth. Your beauty lies in your willingness to feel, and see beyond the labels. Hold the totality of the image the way the mirror holds it; not resisting, not hiding, not shaming, not trying to adapt yourself to some second-hand idea of beauty or perfection. Your imperfections are so perfect in this light; your wrinkles and blotches a work of divine art, fascinating and real, and so human.

See. And in the seeing, allow yourself to be seen.

You are beautiful, without changing a thing; beauty is not earned.

- Jeff Foster