This I Believe

Jamie - Henderson, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that inner beauty shines the brightest.

I believe in the ability to see beyond first impressions and physical appearances. To see others truly and to love them deeply has very little to do with their appearance and a whole lot to do with their heart.

As a female in modern society I have been primed to equate physical attractiveness with personal worth. In adolescence and young adulthood I unknowingly believed that to be loved I must meet precise yet unattainable physical requirements. In this narrow light, life was unfair and became something that tormented me daily. I, too, placed a lot of value on my physical appearance. I didn’t really see myself as either a complete success or failure in attractiveness nor did I even understand what success would actually look like in that area. In my opinion, I was neither a beautiful or hideous creature. I was just curious why it mattered so much to others and had consequently become so important to me.

I knew that there must be more to love, so I began my search for truth. As I considered why I loved those whom I care about most deeply, I stumbled upon personally, enlightening answers.

I love my mom because she is the most selfless person I have ever met. I love my dad because of the provisions he made for our family and the invaluable life lessons he has taught me in my short life. I love each of my friends for the unique gifts that they share with me daily. In my search I realized that those I love most, I love for simple reasons. They make me laugh. They bring me joy. They work for peace in relationships. They offer me grace. They lend me strength when I lack it. They live passionately. They are careful to show me how much they truly care for me.

I took this intriguing quest one step further. When someone uttered to me, “I love you,” I would ask them why they loved me. Their answers would vary greatly, yet no loved one ever mentioned my physical attributes.

I strive daily to write and rewrite deep within my soul what it means to be beautiful. I am thankful for countless soul lovers who have taught me how to experience and recognize authentic beauty. I love the blessing of learning to look intently into the lives of those I love, to find their gifts and passions, to acknowledge where they have shared these deeply with me, and to appreciate and reciprocate this form of love.

I often attempt to help others in my life to acknowledge true beauty, especially when I know they don’t see themselves that way. I start by telling them that they are beautiful to me and then I express, in words, all the loveliness that flows from their hearts. It’s a beautiful thing.