As women, we are bombarded with images of the perfect woman. We are brainwashed into thinking that we have to look exactly like what we see. Having these 'canons of perfection' everywhere we look can make us feel terrible about ourselves. But we need to remember that true beauty is so much more than what is on the surface.
I recently read about 2 absolutely beautiful, amazing inspiring women:
I'm sure you know who Stephanie Nielson is by now. You might know her as Nie Nie.
In 2008, she and her husband were both severely burned when the light plane they were in crashed in Arizona. She escaped the plane with more than 80 percent of her body burned.
After months of excruciating pain and recovery, she finally decided to look at her face. Holding a mirror, she started at her neck, not recognizing it. The reaction was the same from her chin all the way up to her eyes.
"I looked at myself and I saw God in my eyes," Stephanie said. "It was as if he was looking right back at me, and he was saying, 'Everything is just fine. You can see yourself, and I can see you. I know who you are, and you're beautiful to me."
Nie Nie is truly beautiful. To read more about her story, visit www.nieniedialogues.com
The next beautiful woman is Irena Sendler. During WWII, Irena worked in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist. Irena smuggled Jewish children out; infants in the bottom of the tool box she carried and older children in a burlap sack she carried in the back of her truck. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids’ and infants’ noises. Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children.
She eventually was caught, and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her backyard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited some of the families. Most had been killed. She helped those children get placement into foster family homes or adopted.
A couple of years ago, Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, she lost to Al Gore.
Now that is true beauty. Someone brave enough to stand up for others. You can't tell me that when you look at this sweet woman, you don't see true beauty.
My purpose in this post is to just remind all of us that we shouldn't get so caught up in image and vanity. True Beauty is inside of us and is one of the most important things we an possess. I am grateful each and every day for a Father in Heaven who loves me and has given me talents and gifts to share with others.
Remember that beauty isn't in your measurements, it's not how long your hair is or how thick your lashes are. True beauty is what is inside of you. It's how you live your life, how you treat others and how happy you are.
"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." -Kahlil Gibran