Then I overheard someone say, "She would be beautiful except for her nose." Everything changed. And for the next 30-odd years I went to extraordinary lengths to hide my nose.
Excessive concern about and preoccupation with my appearance resulted in a constant flow of negative thoughts about my face and body. Makeup was a mask. Hair cuts were to hide or distract.
Then I moved to France. You know what? No one here has a generic, standard-issue, "ideal" nose. Each one, extraordinary in its originality, is either small, large, perky, turned, drooped, lifted, bumped, hooked or bulbous - and all of them are GREAT! My hairdresser has what she calls a "strong" nose and she is proud of it, playing it up with her hair and makeup and clothing accessories. No hiding or disguising. Why would she? She is lovely and no one else is like her.
This new outlook didn't only come from more global nose exposure. I attribute it mostly to insights I have gained into God as divine Soul, and of the nature of real beauty as spiritual.
Beauty isn't material, not even temporarily.
The size, shape, and weight of matter; the color, volume, consistency of matter; the position, quantity, presence or absence of matter; these things don't define beauty. Beauty is spiritual.
Mary Baker Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures explains, "Beauty, as well as truth, is eternal; but the beauty of material things passes away, fading and fleeting as mortal belief. Custom, education, and fashion form the transient standards of mortals." (247)
We don't have to be pushed or pulled by these influences to settle for transient standards. The beauty that God as divine Love establishes in us is real, original, perfect, and meets Love's own high and permanent standard of divine good.
Comeliness and grace are independent of matter. Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color.
MARY BAKER EDDY, ibid
Remember the "use arsenic for clear skin" craze that killed off many young women in Victorian England? The "beautiful matter" belief is deadlier than the arsenic belief because it poisons the human system with self-hate, regret, envy, wasted thoughts, wasted energy, and selfishness.
So seriously, don't pray for better matter. It won't get you what you want. Spirituality is the ticket. And the thing about spirituality is that it lasts. It endures.
Beauty is immortal.
You are gorgeous - a beautiful, immortal expression of God as Soul, as Love, as Mind and Principle. Think about it. This has nothing to do with hair or the lack thereof, crooked or straight teeth, noses, eyebrows, long legs or tapered fingers.
You are beautiful because you are spiritual.
Now, I am no dummy. I recognize that for the moment what I am saying may be falling on deaf ears. When caught up in the illusion of beauty (like someone caught up in the illusion of grief), a mortally-focused mind wants what it wants, where it wants it. It calls matter, not only real, but the only reality. It can even seem like the actual immortal and permanent truth of beauty and life is irrelevant and not comforting at all. But Christian Science teaches and then shows how matter is not real, - not beautiful, not ugly, simply NOT.
The persistent Christ-messages of true beauty.
Because of the persistent nature of the Christ, the true idea of God and His creation, the truth of your real beauty will keep knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking persistently at the door of your thought until you let these Christ messages in and really think about them. Then they will take their rightful place in your thought and your life. You won't be able to escape the proof. It will glow inwardly in the way you feel about yourself, and show outwardly in the way you are perceived.
Tips on caring for yourself.
A body as a limited, material, destructible - or even improvable - object is never the truth about your body. Matter never gives correct evidence of your identity, is not a symbol of your beauty or a marker of your worth. (Neither is your car, by the way. But that is another post.)
Don't let an illusion of beauty deprive you of the enjoyment of being beautiful you today. Your beauty has nothing to do with hormones, genes or the weather. Don't waste one moment praying to fix your body. Pray to be unblinded. To see what you really have and are, and to wear your understanding of real beauty with a pleasure that is as obvious to you and the world as is the lovely nose on your face!
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