August 6, 2008. It was time for a new driver’s license. I had to go to the Division of Motor Vehicles because I couldn’t renew online this time. I took the eye test and went through all of the formalities at the desk, then I went to the station where they take your photo. A young lady took my picture and asked me to take a seat while they printed my new license. She called my name when the license was ready, looked at the photo, said “beautiful” and handed it to me. I eagerly looked at the picture and froze. I was mortified. It was horrible. I didn’t want to carry that identification for another half dozen years. I cried. Yes, I literally went outside and cried. Is that what I really look like? Was that young girl being facetious? Was she humoring a middle aged woman who really wanted to have a beautiful picture? Oh the games our minds play. I was already planning to “lose” that document and go back for another!
I thought back to a conversation with my grandmother when she turned 85. I asked her, “What does it feel like to be 85, Grandma?” My Grandma Peggy was like an angel. She was the kindest, sweetest soul I’ve ever known. She never spoke a harsh word. Everyone loved her. I was surprised when she replied, in her Scottish brogue, “No very good, Hen.” I asked her why. “When I look in the mirror, I dinny look like I feel inside.” I didn’t really understand what she was feeling at that time, but as I looked at my driver’s license I had a pretty good idea.
Someone I love dearly has frequently suggested we take a little trip together to see a plastic surgeon. She says, with a twinkle in her eye, that we could just have a tiny bit of “work” done to fix those places on our face and neck that could use a wee lift. My dermatologist told me years ago that I would need something much bigger if I really wanted to see a difference. The heaviness of my jowls and other signs of aging are just in my genes. I look at a pictures of my Gran and I know that’s true, so I’ve prayed for the wisdom to grow old with grace instead of a facelift!
While getting ready for work one morning, the conversations I’ve had with that friend were really bothering me. She’s a beautiful woman. I think she looks half her age. She practically glows. Why does she want to change anything? I was thinking about her and said in my mind, “I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. I think you’re beautiful!” Then, I was surprised to hear a little voice whisper in my head, “I wish YOU could see yourself through MY eyes. I think YOU ARE beautiful.” I looked in the mirror and smiled. Wow! Was that Wisdom or Grace speaking?
I looked up the word BEAUTIFUL in the Urban Dictionary….
“Beautiful is a woman who has a distinctive personality, one who can laugh at anything, including themselves, who is especially kind and caring to others. She is a woman who above all else knows the value of having fun and not taking life too seriously. She is a woman that you can trust and count on to brighten your day. She is a woman who can inexplicably make you feel really good just by being around her……”
My Granny was beautiful! I am honored if anyone sees a resemblance!
I finally had this conversation with my friend. I shared my thoughts and expressed my deepest feelings about her beauty, inside and out. She smiled and a little tear ran down her cheek. We hugged and she whispered, “thank you.”
“Wrinkles are merely indications of where smiles have been.” Mark Twain
I have a red mark on my right cheek. My daughter, Brittany Hope, bit me when she was teething. They say I could “fix” that, but I won’t. When I see it in the mirror I remember my angel. I have plenty of wrinkles “where smiles have been” and I am grateful for each of those memories.
“There is a subtle channel, like a vein in which energy flows, that extends from the heart out through the eyes. You can communicate great love through your gaze, speaking directly to your own soul or the soul of another person.” Joan Borysenko
When you look in the mirror, please know that YOU are beautiful. Tell yourself you are! I HOPE you can see what I see through my eyes. You’re reading this page. That’s how I know it’s true.