Compliments of State Library of New South Wales collection

We’re daily bombarded with faces (and figures) of those who appear both youthful and lustrous – individuals who personify what we consider beauty. The majority (who fail to meet these criteria) are encouraged to comply in a plethora of ways – including (but not limited to) weight loss, hair plugs, plastic surgery, body building, cosmetic treatment, and rejuvenation.

These urgings are particularly salient for those of us who’ve lost our bloom, and who’ve reached the witching hour when our proverbial coach turns to a pumpkin. As we age, beauty is expressed in a different medium – one that embraces our message, and which is able to deliver it to other people. The underdeveloped talent of our youth is transformed. In its place is something timeless: our true gift, and its unrestrained expression.

When our bodily wheels start to wobble is when we reach our capacity to touch the most lives. Because physical eyes are unable to see others’ souls, a person’s essence can only be presumed by communion with their offering.

Dating sites that screen for physical appearance further underscore this culture’s obsession with outer trappings. Timeless beauty is, as Sarah Ban Breathnach argues, your authentic self-revealed. Authenticity is you at full throttle, minus fear, worry, apprehension, dread, and timidity. It is you on your personal stage giving an all-out performance, with no holds barred.

How can we encourage our essence to emerge?

  • Be the larger version of yourself within your own mind first. If we are what we eat, then we most certainly become what we think. Visions of achievement, accolades, contribution, and career advancement feed your thoughts with the proper nutrients for continual growth.
  • Ignore the naysayers. Terry Cole Whittaker had it right in her book “What You Think of Me is None of My Business.” If we agonize over every negative comment or posting, then we give our power to other people. Take back your life by standing squarely and moving forward, looking neither to the right nor to the left (or online). To do so, you will need your energy undiluted.
  • Develop a support group. Enlisting your own personal cheering section in the form of family, friends, and local fans will not only boost your ego, but may give you ideas to further your endeavors. Be discerning in whom you choose, for repeated mantras have the most influence.

Above all, know that you are loved, worthy, and a voice in this world. Your unique, timeless gift transcends outer beauty.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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