• Joan Kosmachuk

You are Beautiful

"I think there is beauty in everybody. You are born with it." -Francesco Scavullo, Cosmopolitan cover photographer.

When we talk about beauty in nature there is no limit to our praises. Animal or mineral, flora and fauna, landscape and waterway -- when we stop to look at it, the beauty of it all takes our breath away.

Most of us will readily see a similar beauty in the natural shapes, lines and coloring of others. We are mesmerized by the little boy with the freckled nose and ginger hair, we can't stop admiring the long shapely neck of the frazzled young mother, we are completely smitten with the smile wreathed in wrinkles from the stooped old man. There is beauty in everyone I see --- oh, except me.

When we look in the mirror, we most often fail to see the beauty of our own faces and bodies. We look through the lens of comparison or the lens of self-loathing, and we do not see what is, but rather, only what is not.

We long for affirmation, yet we brush off compliments from lovers and strangers alike. It's not what they see, but what they don't see that occupies our every waking thought.

But all of us are beautiful and today I want to encourage you to start focusing on the beautiful body you have, the only one you will ever be given.

Start with looking at your hands. Really looking at them. Don't look for what they are not, but look at what they are. Do you admire their strength or their delicacy, their length or their width? Their shape or their color or their line? Love them for everything they are, and especially love them because they are yours.

Be aware of the beauty of those hands as they plant a flower, wipe a tear or stroke a cheek. Love them for the way they hold a glass or button a shirt or paint a picture.

Now how can you provide better care for these beautiful hands that are yours? Do they want a massage? Scented soap? Do the nails want trimming or shaping or polishing? Will you decorate them with rings or bracelets? Will you glove them to keep them warm or protect them?

Learn to see the beauty in the hands you've been given. Focus on making this part of your body feel as loved as possible. Showcase its beauty. Acknowledge it aloud.

"I have beautiful hands." Reach out and clasp the hand of a child, a friend, a lover, an aging parent and see the beauty of their hand in your hand.

"You are beautiful!"

Joan Kosmachuk

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