A Preoccupation with Beauty

The control we have over our appearances compensates for the lack of control we have over the unfortunate events of life…  we are using exterior tools to mend interior problems, and it doesn’t work!

I feel like throwing away all of the mirrors attached to my name. That is, the one in the bathroom, and the ones in my bedroom. Also the mirror that I carry in my bag. Perhaps I’ll throw away all reflective surfaces that I stare in to until I find something to fix. I see that it’s undesirable to be excessively preoccupied with your appearance, but I understand that it’s easy to do so, as your appearance is something you can exercise a lot of control over.

When your eyebrows are scruffy, you pluck and thread them, or you fill and conceal them. However when your grades are low and you’re falling short of joy, the problem is more difficult to solve. The control we have over our appearances compensates for the lack of control we have over the unfortunate events of life. We make ourselves look better in order to feel better, and keep up appearances… ‘I’m falling apart, but I’m getting my hair done tomorrow. At least I’ll look nice then.’

You don’t need to have the best clothes, makeup, or following to understand this. I’ve observed that the changes we make to our looks (besides the purpose of being presentable) are made because we want to see results, and we want to see them now – they’re easily controlled.

However unfortunately, looks fade – as do the trends and styles that we submerge ourselves in every season. We tend to spend so much time on appearance that our substance begins to fade away. So, I want there to be a greater focus on what is inside than what appears to be on the outside.

This really needs to be considered. The saying ‘If you have time to worry about it, you have time to pray about it’ can be applied to this situation. The time we spend in making ourselves look better can be spent on genuinely being better and mending what is inside.

Everyone is so broken, and we see burning bridges and cutting people off as the way to fix ourselves. Or, we post  pictures of ourselves glowing in the sun to show that we can look candidly amazing, even though we don’t feel so. We are using exterior tools to mend interior problems, and it doesn’t work. Instead, it builds up a tough exterior that needn’t exist. We don’t have to harden our hearts in order to clear our minds.

To clear our minds, we need to spend time figuring ourselves out, and understanding the motives behind our behaviour. This is difficult as inner processes are harder to control. However you need to start somewhere. So, if you have time to make yourself look good, you have time to actually feel good, and be good.

I recently read a list that I wrote a year ago. On one side I listed what I like about myself, and on the other I listed what I don’t like. I found that the “don’t like” side had things like ‘sad spells’ and ‘know-it-all mentality.’ But the “like” side had things like ‘my eyes’ and ‘sense of humour.’ Of course, it won’t be the same for everyone, and the categories did cross over a few times. Nonetheless, I realised that I can turn the “don’t like” side into a list of internal things that I must work on – things that will be difficult to fix, but worth fixing.

What are the internal things that you haven’t worked on, and are you using exterior tools to compensate for your lack of control in those areas?

If you can think of any, try and take some time out to work on them. There’s no harm in feeling better.

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