Today, it’s hard not to be self conscious. From every direction, we are showered with ‘standards’ we may or may not notice and meet. Your Computer, TV, smart phone, games, school, mall, church, village. Everybody’s looking to see; what’ s the latest, who’s the hottest: hair, skin, clothes, body, car, job, home, iphone, bag, jewels, product, plastic addition to me. We read the mags, blogs, sites, tweets, articles, verses? Because the big life questions of our generation have been reduced to… Do you have (it)? Are You relevant? Do you know it, and so and so? Unfortunately, most of us don’t know it, but we still watch it. Many of us cant afford it, but we still figure out how to buy it. Because all day long, we are told what we need, who we should try to be, what we should like and what is not cool anymore. As if any one thing really could make you fitter, stronger, happier, more attractive, interesting, beautiful? We look in the mirror and don’t quite like what we see.. because its not whats there on tv and unless you have a strong, innate sense of self, you could be left wondering.. Am I good enough? Pretty? Attractive? Hot? Layer upon layer builds up first over our eyes and then our hearts until we stop seeing what’s really going on out there and start fronting with ‘what should be there’. Who we really are gets buried beneath a whole lot of stuff: attitudes, products, things, mindsets, styles and fashions. The pressure to be more ‘anything’ on the outside can distort who we really are inside, as we succumb to cultures definition of beauty and attractiveness and judge and alter ourselves with it.
We saw Dr. Maya Angelo speak a few nights ago in a little theatre on State Street in Santa Barbara. She is beautiful. A conqueror. She has lived a harder story than most of us can imagine, but out of the ashes, beauty rose. She’s an incredible poet, speaker, writer, lecturer. A bit more lighthearted and softer than she was 10 or 15 years ago, she is a rare gift to this world. Still sharp as a tack, we all slowed down and listened in as she told incredible stories from her over-comer’s life, imparting wisdom and reciting more poetry than most of us have ever read. She spoke about the gift and opportunities we have in just being alive today and the responsibility we have to this and the next generation. She talked of our need for personal liberation from ignorance, with authority. But when she spent a moment defining beauty, this 6 foot tall, ghostly white haired, chocolate skinned 83 year old woman chuckled for a moment. She looked out over hundreds sunny Californians of all colors, shapes and sizes…“Girl…you are all right!” she paused. “You are all- (exhaling softly all..)…Right!” a bit of a laugh…”Just the way you are… You are allllllll- right.” and silence followed… as the sound of that slow, deep swirling L that came from the core of her very being, moved like wind through the theatre. “Just the way you are…” a little sweeter and softer, like your grand-mom now. “You are alright.” And I believed her. And I felt foolish for ever doubting that I wasn’t good enough. Or needed to be more. I felt a little ashamed for how hard I’d tried to be or please someone else. This woman who’s been seen more beauty and brokenness than we might ever know just told me the truth. A thousand excuses and doubts left me instantly.
Just the way You are. Just the way You are. And this is what You need to know now, and never forget again. You are good enough. Your best, is good enough. Better than any enhancement, label, enticement, layer or façade. What you are is enough. Matter of fact, tear down your façade. Let it go. Free yourself from anything less! You will discover who you really are. And this will make you happy. When you’re not trying to be something you are not. When you’re not trying to please someone else. When you start living from the inside out. This is true beauty. Authentic. He’s Authentic. She’s the real deal. Where you’ve been, what you’ve done and who you’ve been is what it is! It’s made you who you are. And that’s unique, beautiful, “alllll right.”
So with this, we’d like to start our Inside Out campaign. Close your eyes and consider what matters. Realize what makes the people you love special. And reject anything less than what is true and honest.
“Beauty: your best is good enough. Tear down facades to know the freedom of who you were made to be.”
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