Beauty is so much more than physical appearance.

Of all the definitions of Beauty that I found in my research, the one that appeals to me most is by a man named George Bancroft : Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the infinite.

Webster's Dictionary defines Beauty as "Pleasing to the eye; felicity, especially of appearance; graceful or balanced structure; aesthetic perfection “

There’s a lot of emphasis here on the senses – on appearance - …. Today, I want us to stretch our knowing and recognize that to really understand Beauty, we need to SEE not only the appearances, but BEYOND appearances. (actually, that’s how we get to understand God, or Good as well….it’s all about our ability to see beyond appearances! )

Most of us have heard the cliché – Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder… today I want to encourage us to look with new eyes. Let’s change PLEASING TO THE EYE that we see with –to PLEASING TO THE “I” that we are

Ask yourself - how often is the person’s appearance a reason that you admire them? What do you think are the most important attributes a person can have? What would you like another person to most admire in you?

The prophet, Kahlil Gibran, once said: Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.   If you only see with your senses, you’ll miss so much of the Beauty of life.
In speaking of Poetry, Percy Shelley once said: Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.

 What eyes do you see with? Is your life focused on what the senses tell you – or what you sense beyond the senses?
The classical musician, John Cage,  once said: The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.

And the English painter, John Constable : I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.
American author, poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
 Children start becoming judgmental of physical beauty at an extremely young age. All the fairy tales tell us that the Princess or heroine is beautiful and the BAD person or the witch is always UGLY.. Kids are always fighting to be included with the people that make up the "in crowd." Typically these groups of popularity are the beautiful people and they shun anyone who doesn't match up to whatever standard of beauty that they have set. Anarexia and bulimia have become commonplace among teenagers.

We have a society that caters to the extremely beautiful, The media does not help this situation at all. Television constantly portrays beautiful people in the shows and in almost every commercial between the shows. It is almost exactly the same with magazines. The media is, and probably always will be, unless something drastic changes it, the biggest pusher of beautiful model type people.

If something or someone isn’t seen as beautiful, TV is filled today with reality shows that show you how they can be. Have you seen all the shows about makeovers? – You can have a room made over, a house made over, then there is Queer Eye on the Straight Guy, where 5 gay men help a straight man impress his woman by fixing his apartment, his hair, his clothing, the way he cooks, walks, well, just about everything. Then, there is  the  popular show, called “Extreme Makeovers”. Have you seen it? The people on the show are men and women who are not happy with their physical appearance and they are set up  with all kinds of doctors and make-over artists. These people make complete changes, plastic surgery, liposuction, breast implants, hair, makeup, clothing.  It’s a show that reveals how much pain people have when they identify themselves with their form.
 The popularity of the show speaks of the resonance in people everywhere for the aspects of the fairytale archetype. The longing to be beautiful.

Little Johnny watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. "Why do you do that, mommy?" he asked.

"To make myself beautiful," she replied as she began to remove the cream with a tissue. "What's the matter," asked little Johnny. "Giving up?"

We don’t need cold creams, extreme makeovers or face lifts – what we need is a FAITH LIFT.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Toni is an expert in supporting people and organizations in reinventing themselves in midlife. Her experience? - from Catholic nun, to computer programmer and dinner theater actress, to professional speaker, entrepreneur, New Thought Minister and spiritual life coach. She is the author of "What You REALLY Want, Wants You"