Discovering your inner beauty

What is the real essence of beauty? Renae Peterson delves into the meaning of inner beauty and how you can achieve it

When describing someone as beautiful, we often refer to the external features rather than internal qualities. Being recognized for one’s true beauty has been an ageless longing that plays itself out on the stage of everyday life. Issues of beauty run deep. I know of some young women who feel that if they are externally good-looking, then internal beauty is of little significance. However, external allure is a longing that can only be temporarily satisfying.

Inner beauty is intrinsic

I believe that in today’s society we have lost sight of what it truly means to be beautiful. In the work that I do with women, I notice that once they connect with their own unique traits deep inside, they can experience a beauty that transcends the physical. The essence of inner beauty is intrinsic and it does not fade away. As a nurse, the heart fascinates me. Physically, it sustains our life, while emotionally it is our guide, our North Star. The heart is where our true identity lies and it’s the perspective of the heart that enables us to connect to our internal beauty. To tap into one’s inner beauty one has to assess the condition of the heart.

We have all had painful life experiences that have been, as I like to describe it, written on our hearts. Others’ actions, words and reactions have been allowed to penetrate our heart in negative ways, resulting in us taking on others’ perceptions of who we are. These perceptions, at times, become the truth of who we believe we are.

Be the queen of your inner self

Discovering your inner beauty means you need to be the ‘queen of your own heart.’ Being the ‘queen of your own heart’ takes a lot of work and it means you have to look deep inside in the darkest places, so that you can take authority over them. Just as a queen would do, seek counsel on how to overcome the pain. Do not retreat from the pain, but face it head on and look at it in an objective manner, so that it has no influence over you. Take a look back at those difficult moments and times when you have felt less than yourself and how you allowed those times to define you.

Do not crumble at the rising of another’s sharp sword. Instead, stand strong and ask yourself in every negative situation,” Is this going to define me? What am I going to receive from it?” It’s our job to understand the implications of our heart story and what we choose to be true of us. Ask yourself, “What healing of the heart do I need to do in order to receive the truth of my heart?” It is only when we clear away the lies and see ourselves for who we are that we are able to be the queen who reigns with a beauty that may not be seen, but can be felt. This is the definition of internal beauty.

Don’t give in to negativity

The ugliness of envy, non-forgiveness, hatred, bitterness, and jealousy disconnect us from our intrinsic elegance and charm. These negative emotions brew deadly poisons in us that stop us from operating from a place of love and peace. I am sure you have heard it said that “hurt people hurt people.” By allowing these emotions to take up residency in our heart, our heart becomes calloused. Then we are unable to lead like a queen with grace and love. Our heart is a muscle and we must sweat out the toxins of the harmful negativity so that we can be all that we were destined to be.

Try to include a daily practice to not take what others say or do personally; instead learn to see through it so that you are not ruled by it. When we are able to see others and ourselves more clearly, we do not get trapped into blaming or judging others, and we can actually have more compassion and grace for them. We all have gifts of the heart and it is our responsibility to allow them to shine through and share them with the world. I would encourage you to reflect on your gifts and then write down 10 of your internal gifts on a piece of paper. I have heard it said that ‘inside beauty captures the world’. Inner grace can only be obtained when we have clear focus. The elegance of your spirit is what will always leave a legacy. You have to work hard at achieving inner beauty. Don’t allow yourself to stop thinking about which choices and actions will further your inner beauty and which will diminish it.

To extend the metaphor, don’t be the queen who just sits on her throne to be admired by others; instead, be the queen who shares her internal gifts with the world, leaving people better than you found them. The laws of compassion, graciousness and kindness for yourself and others are truly what will bring healing to the broken things in the world and they are at the heart of what it means to have internal beauty.

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