Thursday, March 6, 2014

Becoming a Beautiful Woman

It was part of my 2014 goal to "beautify" myself. That means, I will not be leaving the house anymore without a dab of face powder, a hint of blush on my cheeks and a swipe of lip gloss and lipstick. You see when I became a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), my thoughts were like, "Why would I need to put on makeup when I go to the grocery or when my husband, our baby and I are going out on a date? People would see anyway that I am a mom and they would rather look at my daughter than me. I don't care what I look like. I am carrying a baby (also breastfeeding her whenever she needs milk), people would not care." So, for one and a half years, I think, I was thinking and acting like that. It was au contraire to my usual self 3 to 4 years ago when I was still a working woman.

Around 4 years ago. I was accompanying a friend and colleague to go sight-seeing in the metro.
Birthday celebration 3 1/2 years ago. Had a yogurt right after dinner with a friend who asked for help in lesson planning.

Hubby and I at a couple's fellowship, 3 years ago.

However, I noticed that the more I tried to do the things I used to do when I was not yet a mother, the more I failed. After a week of being successful to doing my beauty rituals, I would often find myself slacking off again. Then one day, it just hit me (my aha! moment). Being beautiful doesn't start from the physical appearance, it has to commence from within, from my heart and even my soul.

After that realization, I paused for a while (I was actually in the bathroom when this happened), looked at myself in the mirror then asked myself, "How is your heart? How is your inner beauty?" So, here's my take on how to keep a woman's inner beauty.

A renewed relationship with the Lord is always the first step.
During that time of my aha! moment, it dawned on me that my relationship with my God in the past several months was not as ardent as before. Yes, I still pray, only hurriedly. Yes, I read my Bible, but only out of because-I-have-to rather than because-I-expect-to-hear-from-you-Lord reason. And yes, I go to church regularly because I need to and not because "I am excited to worship with fellow believers." So, first thing firsts, I rekindle my commitment with my God. I am not saying that I have finally made it perfect but it's a continuing process that is being refreshed day after day. I thank the Lord for His mercies towards me never fail, they are new every morning (according to prophet Jeremiah), indeed, great is His faithfulness! 

Live in the present.
As cliche as it may sound, it's true. I have this habit of always looking back. What's wrong with that? There should be nothing wrong with that, if and only if, I do it just to reminisce the past, recount the lessons I have gleaned and then apply them in the present. The problem is, that's not what I do. Time and again, I would try to relive the past and tell myself, "What if I did this instead? What if this is the decision I had made? What if..." Full of what ifs and regrets. And because of that my mind would always be filled with trepidation that were not really necessary. Remember the nugget of wisdom Ooguay (from the Kung Fu Panda) told Po, "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called present." I believe there's a lot of truth in that statement. Live not in yesterday, not even in tomorrow but in today.

Keep a quiet heart.
I have this book by Elisabeth Elliot entitled Keep a Quiet Heart. She's one of my favorite Christian authors. She is a very good writer and I just love her and all her works. 

What does it mean to keep a quiet heart? For me, it's being at peace with my God, myself and others. It's being content with what I have while endeavor to be the best person that I could be. It is simply seeing the good and loveliness in everything that surrounds me instead of focusing on the unpleasantness. Similarly, it is accepting the things (or even people) as they are, specially if I know that it is not for me to put the matters in my hand. Plainly put, keep a quiet heart.

These are the three points that I have to remind myself of every now and then. As I have said, I have not reached perfection (who has, anyway?) but I am a work in progress. The beautiful thing is, as the process keeps on, the beauty from within, the true beauty radiates and no matter what you do, it just shows.

How about you? How do you keep your inner beauty? It would be lovely to hear you.

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