The Art of Inner Beauty (2015)
Chapter 1: Recognizing the Difference between Inner and Outer Beauty
Peer pressure. Societal pressure. Prejudice in one form or another.
Society – including friends, family and neighbors sometimes – judges you by your looks. Most people know this. Just ask anybody who’s ever been overweight and then lost it. People in general treat you differently. A woman who has lost weight suddenly catches the eye of men who never have paid attention to her before.
“Where have you been all my life?” they ask as they approach her. How tempting it is to say, “Right under your nose but you refused to see me for what I am.’
Perhaps there’s been no time in our society, generally speaking, that the pressure to be “movie-star” beautiful has been greater. Similarly, it seems fewer people than ever before care or even notice one’s inner beauty.
In some ways, that may be true. But you need to know that despite the temptation to separate the two, your inner beauty from your outer, you really can’t. You can have outer beauty that may initially attract people to you. But they won’t stay with you long as friends or even acquaintances if you don’t have even bit of loveliness within you.
Difference Between Inner and Outer Beauty
So exactly what is the difference between these two? How can you tell when someone has inner beauty?
Perhaps the simplest differentiation between the two comes from Dr. Michael Roizen, M.D. He defines it succinctly: “In essence one is looking beautiful while the other is feeling beautiful.”
Additionally, the two types of beauty are derived from different sources. You receive your appearance, your physical characteristics, through genetics. Your parents passed specific genes to you which made your outward characteristics what they are today.
What lies within you emanates from you – more specifically from your growth in consciousness. Simply put, this type of loveliness that you project comes from how you feel about life, about how you treat others and probably most importantly, how you treat and feel about yourself.
Because the last point is so essential to true beauty, let’s paraphrase it: Inner beauty depends on how you treat and feel about yourself. It’s hard to radiate peace and positive energy to others when you can’t face yourself in the mirror every morning. It’s hard to radiate a glow of loving kindness to others when you can’t find it within you to love yourself.
Have you ever been attracted to another person based on their looks? Go ahead you can admit to this. We all have. As human beings, it’s one of the first ways we get to know people. But after you get to know them, you realize they aren’t the person who you thought that were. That’s because their inner beauty didn’t align with the outer.
The opposite scenario is also true. You’ve seen people who are beautiful, but for some reason you’re immediately attracted to them. Perhaps they dress in a manner that society says looks “eccentric.” Or they have a birthmark or a scar that can’t easily be covered or hidden in any way.
By society’s standard they would be far from attractive, but yet you very much attracted to them. That’s because you’ve recognized their inner worth, value and beauty. Your attraction is strong enough to overcome what society as a whole superficially values.
This occurrence is a true testament the power and magnetism of inner beauty. When what within you overpowers your outward appearance – whether deemed beautiful or not by society’s standards – it’s reflected outwards in some way. It can’t help be happen. Guaranteed.
Can Inner Beauty be Developed?
While you may not believe you’ve been endowed with inner beauty, that may only be because you haven’t attempted to find it. Unlike your outward appearance, which can only be altered with plastic surgery, you can develop an inner beauty that others will find appealing.
Sure your outward appearance can be modified through the proper use of makeup if you’re female and the clothes you wear. And these two actions alone will go a long way in improving your image.
In fact, there exists a relationship between such actions as those and your ultimate inner feelings. We’ll discuss that as we delve farther along in the process of developing and harnessing your true inner light.
But changing your outward appearance isn’t a prerequisite for cultivating an inner glow. Consider for a moment, the person who has a birthmark. For the sake of this example, let’s call her Helen. She looks in the mirror daily and the first thing she sees on your neck is that birthmark – “that hideous birthmark” in her words.
If you were to ask her closest friends and admirers about the birthmark the majority would ask, “What birthmark?” Her inner beauty is so radiant that those who know her best don’t even see it. They see Helen as a loving, caring, compassionate person.
Marlene was a new student at a high school. All the students she met, commented on the beauty of Jane, another student, whenever they passed her in the hall. Marlene couldn’t understand why everyone thought her appearance was so special. She, actually, was physically quite plain.
Then one day Jane and Marlene met in the bathroom. Jane immediately introduced herself and began asking the new student questions about herself. It was at that point that Marlene began to understand Jane and realized that the attraction wasn’t really about her looks at all. Rather, people who knew Jane well weren’t seeing her outward appearance or even referring to her outward attractiveness. They were seeing into her soul and viewing her inner beauty.
So far we’ve talked about how inner and outer beauty seems to be at odds, at least on the surface. You may feel that those who don’t have an attractive appearance are immediately blessed with a lovely inner serenity which they radiate toward all.
You may also assume that if you are attractive outwardly, you’ll never be able to rise above your looks to be that individual others seek out because just standing beside you makes them feel special.
Neither of these is necessarily true, though. The fact of the matter is that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Not only that, but those who possess true inner beauty aren’t the least bit jealous when they meet those who have the physical traits that much of our society deems important.
The real truth, in fact, is that those who have an inner light that shines brightly also appreciate the outward attractiveness that society values so intensely. If you’re trying to cultivate that inner light, you’ll soon discover that you’ll end up appreciating instead of envying those with that outer beauty.
The end result? You’ll ultimately feel more confident in all of your relationships and, most importantly, more relaxed and confident with yourself.
Are you ready to take the first step toward developing your inner beauty, increasing your self worth and at the same time enjoying more than ever before relationships with everyone you encounter, your friends, family and even those who’ve only recently met but were fearful of getting to know better.
In the following chapter, we’ll tackle what many consider to be the most difficult step of them: loving yourself.