Tish and I were walking together on the beach last week. She stopped to look out at the water so I did, too. She put her hand in mine, looked up at me and said, “Mom, am I pretty?”
Luckily, I’d been thinking about that word for a couple of decades, so I was ready.
I sat Tish down in the sand, took a deep breath, and dove in.
“I think you’re pretty, Tish. I think you are very, very pretty. But pretty is a weak word, because it means different things to everyone. You really don’t have much control over whether folks think you’re pretty or not. Spending a lot of time asking the world if you’re pretty – it’s just not a strong position to take. You will have to keep changing yourself for everyone you meet, and eventually you won’t know who you are. I know because I used to think pretty was really important, so I felt confused and weak a lot.
What I want you to be, Tish, is beautiful. Beautiful means “full of beauty.” Beautiful is not about the appearance of your outsides- beautiful is about what you’re made of. Beautiful women are women who spend time discovering what they love – what sings to them –what their idea of beauty on this Earth is. Then they make time each day to fill themselves up with that beauty. They know themselves well enough to know what they love, and they love themselves enough to fill up with a little of their particular kind of beauty each day.
That’s why we’re here today, honey. I was feeling a little empty this afternoon and so I brought you here to the beach to fill myself back up with beauty. This place is beauty to me. So I come here to fill up with the Gulf of Mexico. With the sound of the waves rolling in and the sight of the pelicans fishing and the feel of the cool sand on my feet. When I leave here I feel really beautiful. And I brought you with me because you are beauty to me, too, Tish. When you smile at me – I am beautiful .
Many of the things you see me do each day, honey – I do them to be beautiful.
It’s why I take time out to spend with good friends.
It’s why I read and look at art and always have that music I love playing in the house.
It’s why I light candles in every room.
It’s why I watch you climbing those Banyan trees in the front yard.
It’s why I roll around on the floor with Theo and Meadow and why I’m always smelling the top of your head.
It’s why I drag you to sunset and to church every week.
I’m just filling up with beauty- because I want to be beautiful.
Tish, you will meet plenty of people in your life who are pretty but haven’t yet taken the time to be beautiful. They will have the right look for the times- but they will not glow. Beautiful women glow. When you are with a beautiful woman you will not so much notice her hair or skin or body or clothes – because you’ll be distracted by the way she makes you feel. She will be so full of beauty that you will feel some spill onto you. You’ll feel warm and safe and curious around her. Her eyes will twinkle a little and she’ll look at you really closely, Tish- because beautiful, wise women know that the quickest way to fill up with beauty is to soak in another human being. Other people are beauty, beauty, beauty. So you will notice that the most beautiful women take their time with other people. They are just filling up.
Women who are concerned with being pretty think about what they look like, but women who are concerned with being beautiful think about what they are looking at. They are taking it all in. They are taking in the whole beautiful world and making all that beauty theirs to give away to others.
Does that make any sense, baby?”
And Tish said, “I think so. It’s like, when you first wake up, mom. You look really,really bad. Your hair is messy and your face looks weird. But when you see me, your eyes get twinkly. Is that because you think I’m beauty?”
“Yes, baby. I’m filling up with you. Because I want to be beautiful.”
Friends – in 2014 let us decide to be beautiful women. Let us take the time to discover what in this world is beauty to us – and fill up with it daily.
Being beautiful is a strong position to take.
Love and Peace and Beauty for all-
Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller LOVE WARRIOR — ORDER HERE
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This post is “beautiful.” Love this. Thank you
This article makes me beautiful, thanks !
Thank you so much for writing this! I have three daughters and I am so excited to be able to share this with them. This is the most amazing and God-honoring perspective on beauty that I have come across. Thank you for sharing!
Beautiful beautiful words. You have so much wisdom (and humor to boot!) I just love the perspective you bring to things. Keep up your freakin awesome work.
Wow. Thank you. What a fabulous message. Am going to discuss with my daughter too. Many blessings to you dear. Thank you for sharing your light with us.
YOU make the world a more beautiful place to be. Each time I read your work, I feel more beautiful. Thank you!
I. Love. This! You’ve hit the nail on the head – beautiful IS full of beauty, FILLED with beauty. THIS is why I read – because sometimes, someone says what I’ve sensed for a long, long time, and puts words on the wordless. Thank you.
”Pretty is a weak word, because it means different things to everyone”. This quote basically says that pretty is different to everyone. When I read this quote I think of The Hunger Games, the Hunger Games has two different opinions about beauty, the Capitols idea and the Districts idea. The Capitols is fake and un natural while the districts is natural, real. So it clearly shows how pretty means different things to different people.
Bless you sister. My wife forwarded this post to me. I am a father of two girls myself and I wan’t to sing this over them. when I read this…. I hear the voice of my heavenly father speaking over me, quieting me with his love, calling me to more than the world has to offer and offering to help me see beauty all around me in his children that he’s made, that I am coming into contact with on a daily basis.
Because of this article, I now greet my daughter (almost 2 1/2) by saying “Hi, Beauty!” And sometimes, she says “Hi, Bootee” back. <3
Your post filled me with beauty, and Tish is one blessed little girl to have you for her mommy.
Very wise, beautiful and true!
This is absolutely fantastic. I just read it to my 5yo daughter and am planning to keep it read to her frequently as the years go on. I am very articulate, but could not imagine putting it better than you did. This could be a life-changer for little girls. GO YOU!
I soooooooo agree!!!!! GO YOU!!!
So much wisdom in this article that it makes me beautiful!! LOVE this!!!
I love this. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
I love you G… I really do.
This seriously just made me cry. Right on. Love you.
Beautiful post and message. Thanks Glennon. To beauty that comes from the heart. blessings, Brad
I love the message! For the comments that point out we still value “pretty”, it’s the difference that we are aware of the difference and start to act and teach our children differently. To steal a phrase, it’s progress not perfection. We are not saints. Recognizing inner beauty is a wonderful start.
Thank you Monica! THIS!
Yes. And thank you. A million times.
I really love this post. I recently wrote a blog post in response to that article going around that says we shouldn’t use the word “beautiful”. I disagreed with that other article. I love how you explained what TRUE beauty is to your daughter! We don’t need to shy away from the word and it is so important to start talking about with our kids at an early age. Thanks for this message!!
My daughter is 11 years old, and she’s been totally blind since birth. She thinks I’m beautiful. She thinks she’s beautiful, too. I have to remind myself of that sometimes. (By the way, being blind doesn’t prevent her from worrying about being “pretty,” but it does give her an understanding that’s fresh and, well… beautiful. When she was little we had an amazing talk about race and prejudice. Profound!)
Everyone needs to read this message . Thank you for sharing it with us all 😉
Beautiful message (pun intended!) I’ve sent this on to some friends with young girls. As the mother of a young boy, though, this has meaning, too–both in the kind of woman he one day may want to find, but also as the kind of *person* he should value, not only in others, but within himself, as well.
I am not sure how to say this, as everything here is praise and support for what is indeed a beautiful message, so I worry that anything other than that will not be welcome. But I would like to see, and feel this issue should be, addressed: how seriously will our children take this message when in fact we still do behave as if pretty *is* important? If you didn’t think pretty was important, Glennon, would you present yourself the way you do? You are, after all, already conventionally pretty, and yet you accentuate even that with makeup and hairstyling, the point of which is to make you even more pretty. I do it too. I’m vain in all kinds of ways, and vanity is a result of feeling a need to please others, to be not only acceptable but viewed favorably. We say it’s not important, and then we behave very much like it is. How do you reconcile that? Do you have any insight?
What I took from this isn’t that we should pretend that being pretty isn’t a state for some people, but that it isn’t all there is to life and certainly isn’t all anyone should strive to be. She comes right out and says that people have different views of what “pretty” is and that yes, she thinks her daughter is pretty. It’s not that people shouldn’t take pride in their appearance, but that – by her definition – being beautiful goes beyond being pretty in the eyes of whom ever beholds us. It’s not just looks, although that is part of the equation; it’s the whole person.
I’ll give you a real-life example of this philosophy in play. I was in a long-term relationship with a guy I thought was good-looking. As our 7-year relationship deteriorated, I found that I didn’t think he was particularly good-looking anymore. He hadn’t changed much physically in that time; we both had taken good care of our bodies. But all the things I’d gone through with him – and truly, all the things I felt he put me through – had taken their toll on my view of him. None of the things I thought he was full of were beauty.
How pretty was he? I don’t know. When I was falling in love with him, I thought he was extremely attractive. By the time it was all over, I didn’t know why I had been so incredibly enamored by him.
I disagree with your definition of vanity. To me, vanity is choosing appearances over happiness or contentment. Yes, it’s an effort to be viewed favorably, but doesn’t become vanity until that desire outweighs logic or peace. High heels aren’t vain by themselves. But they are ridiculously vain on people trying to function in them all day despite excruciating pain. Make up isn’t vain. But when you are so distracted by the fact that you were caught without make up that you can’t enjoy running into a wonderfully dear old friend at Walmart- that’s vain. Vanity is choosing debt over repeating last years wardrobe. It’s panicking over underarm stubble instead of splashing around a pool with your toddler. Its choosing smug satisfaction of besting your peers in competition rather than being blessed with their kinship. Its a thousand ways where we contrive to be miserable because of how we “look” rather than embracing the love and abundance God has to offer us. The pretty things in the world aren’t inherently vain. They are just pretty. It is for us to decide if they will bring joy or misery via vanity.
I love your definition of vanity! Right on point.
With that kind of reasoning – why would you paint the walls in your house, or plant flowers in the beautiful dirt? Why not just leave everything in its “natural” state? I think Glennon would be the last one to think she was “conventionally pretty” and I don’t believe that she has accomplished what she has or gets up everyday because she is vain or trying to impress others. Vanity is trying to make ourselves look better for others, but I paint the walls in my house and grow flowers everywhere I can to make beauty for me to enjoy – not to impress others. I fix my hair and do my makeup each day for my own enjoyment and to fill my beautiful soul.
I agree with your last sentence – I, too, fix my hair and makeup because it makes ME feel good about myself, and I think that self-confidence helps me in my daily interactions.
That said, I really do like Glennon’s explanation of “pretty” versus “beautiful.”
All mothers should have this conversation with their daughters.
OKAY!!!! I WILL, G, PROMISE. LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
I agree……….goodness shines +++ SMILE a lot
Such a lovely post! We and our girls are constantly inundated with the message looks are what matters more. So sad.
I recently read the book, Heaven Is Here. Amazing story of a young mother who overcomes the unbelievable difficulties recovering from a horrific plane crash that left her body burned 80%. At the end she states: “It’s a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life.”
Amen, sister, Amen.
Love your work and words, G.
I have a daughter too & I loved the way you taught wisdom to your child. I’m impressed.
I’ve just discovered your blog through Pinterest and I really, really, really love your post. You just made my day. I’ll keep everything you said in mind through the year and I’ll probably come back often to re-read your words, Your daughter is so lucky to have you as a mum. i wish my mum could have told me something like that when I was a teenager.
Thanks for sharing.
Have a very beautiful year, you and your family.
AWESOME post! I just got filled up with a whole lot of beauty! This post will stick in my head and heart for a long time, hopefully forever! Xo
You can just take a break for the rest of 2014. Should take any pressure off.
Your work has already made the year…All gravy from here on, Mrs. Master Monkey.
“We already have that message across the covers of our women’s magazines.”- said No One Ever.
I love this post-so true and just wish we all could see the beauty in each other so effortlessly. I will, after reading this, never look at people the same!
Thank you so much for your great words and spirit…..I look forward to more in 2014!
Peace and blessings for a wonderful New Year to you and your family!
What a beautiful lesson you taught your little girl and all of us. Thank you.
“Beautiful is about what you’re made of.”
I have two little girls, and I often think about what the future possibly holds for us – conversations about being/feeling pretty, self esteem, self confidence, being/feeling beautiful – and it scares me.
I tell them “you are beautiful” and I always also say “you have a beautiful heart.” I have been trying to communicate to them what you so eloquently wrote.
Thank you for sharing, and for guiding me through this very important concept. My girls and I thank you.
I decided on 12/30/2013 after much consideration about the meaning of the word, that BEAUTY would be my word for the New Year. This post is such a timely support of that. “He gives me beauty for ashes…” Thank you.
Best. post. EVER.
What an inspirational story! I think every mom should read this to their daughters! Thank you!
You quit feeling sorry for yourself. Ugly is something deep that pushes up inside you…
Wow! Bravo, Glennon.
This was, hands down, one of the most powerful messages I have ever read….ever.
If only I had the wisdom to say something like this to my daughters.
I am blown away. Really.
How lucky your children are to have you in their lives… How lucky we all are that you share yourself with the world, G!
I’ve never worried about being pretty, and though I have wanted to be beautiful, inside and out, I’ve never taken the time to define exactly what that means to me…
Thanks for clarifying it for me…and for my daughter, with whom I’ll be sharing this STAT…
Yours in healing,
Hands down. My favorite post every. Thank you.
Oh G. I am so so glad you are a part of this planet. You make it beautiful. XO
Well your little girl’s face and your wise words made my eyes twinkle this morning. She is darling!
What a lovely post! I am going to share this with my daughter and every friend that I have. This is something everyone needs to here! You have an absolutely beautiful way with words!
This post is beautiful – I’ll have to remember to share this with my baby girl someday.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It is so well said and something I will definitely be sharing with my children – girls and boys.
I agree with your idea of being beautiful. Please take a look at this book, Caterpillar Stickers, Be Yourself and Be butterfly Beautiful with your daughter Tish, I think this may help her understand beautiful vs. pretty..
Perfect, just perfect.
Thank you, Glennon. Beautiful.
I can’t even form words right now. Just thank you, Glennon. Thank you thank you for this.
You nailed it! Thank you.
Look at Tish– twinkling so much she sparkles. Already a beauty
This imagery is so helpful – the possibility that I can fill back up, that beauty is never forever lost, I needed to hear this today. Not only for myself, but so I can see it in other people. Thank you.
This is inspiring, thank you for writing something that I knew in my heart but forget too often. Love it!
Hey Glennon, This idea of Beauty is something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot lately. My husband and I are doing some work on our marriage (he had an affair) and I’ve struggled a bit with the feeling that I am trying too hard to be the person I think he wants (a natural reaction I guess to him choosing someone else for a while). But the idea of this big world beauty has given me direction and real strength. I am working on re-discovering my own beauty in the world. I love your idea about absorbing all that beauty and love, and radiating it back out. It feels like this is actually the ONLY way through. Because I will be more me, the most beautiful me. And either our marriage survives and I am a more alive, and vibrant, and yes, BEAUTIFUL wife… or our marriage doesn’t recover, but my husband will be missing out on one hell of a woman. I can’t undo our brokenness, but I can grow me. And hopefully we’ll be growing old and beautiful together.
Heather, you sound wise and strong and Beauty-full! Blessings to you on your journey and may it lead you to what is good and right for you.
Heather, my mom is going through a similar situation, and I plan on sharing your words with her. Stay strong and stay beautiful, and most of all keep growing into yourself. You are beauty-full to me.
Heather, you nailed it, I think, and I am tucking your thoughts into my pocket for later, in case I need them.
Amazing! The world would be a much better place if all little girls (and big girls and little boys and big boys) heard and understood this. Love, love, love.
Thank you for this beautiful article. I just found out you yesterday, from a video in Youtube (you said in the TEDx event). And I decided that, the first thing I will do in days is reading your blog. And here I am, reading this for my 2014. And feel happy. And beautiful.
Thank you again.
I WILL BE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS GLENNON, FOR YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM AND GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think often how lucky your children are to be raised by you G. You are an amazing person in the way you continually strive to be real in this often crazy world. You are passing on your many learnings and musings to your kids and other Monkees. You are one truly beautiful person! x
Glennon, thank you so much for this. Thank you, thank you.
You know, several few months ago I realized I was so distracted by the notion of (not) being pretty enough that I did not have enough time, energy, faith and joy left to feel beautiful!
I have felt so much better since, and now reading your words is like sharing with you a big sisterly hug that says: keep the faith : o )
Also, you have described to a tee a woman I admire very much, so I am going to send this link to her.
Love you Glennon, you bring more beauty always to our thirsty souls.
I do believe this is the best thing you’ve ever written. Ever. Really. Thank you.
I CAN’T EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS! THANK YOU 🙂 🙂 🙂
Our daughters and our sons deserve adjectives as multi-dimensional and as amazing as they are.
It’s so easy to forget how powerful language can be, how lucky for you both that you took the time that word had been given in your mind and heart, to catapult the appetite for reassurance into the comprehension of vital worth and inherent beauty.
Beautiful New Year and New Beginnings to all.
I am going to print this post and re-read it often and share the wisdom with my daughter. xoxo
Raised two ‘beautiful’ daughters. My oldest girl, as she hit adolescence, was much more attuned to an inner voice that was negative. I could see that she struggled with how ‘pretty’ she was in other’s eyes. She was a beauty in all ways. Second daughter really didn’t bother to question what too many thought of her. Was an easier path (still is) for her. I think I raised them both the same way, with the same values. That they are worthy because God created them and loves them not matter what, that their father and I loved them unconditionally, that nothing they ever could do would change that. Two entirely different personalities. I loved to fill them up with ‘real beauty’. I could tell you a million things of what that was. NONE of it was their bodies or faces or popularity or how the world perceived them. But, just gotta say, kids are somehow born with their own internal ‘thermometer’. Some get cooked at a low degree and others a much higher temp. BUT, they are spilling real beauty on others now! They can see the real thing from a mile away. Phew! I knew it could/would happen! Thanks for sharing the twinkle in YOUR eye!
(a letter on my blog that I wrote for my children this new year–and your posts–particularly this one, have given me the courage to post it. Thank you for being so brave and beautiful.)
To my precious things this new year and all the years thereafter:
If one truth exists in our world it is this one alone: love.
Please fill the world with as much of it as you can while you are in it. When you walk into a room, fill the space with love, with laughter, with joy. Even when your heart may hurt or you may not feel like being present, show up. And show up with love. Always.
Make those around you—whoever it is—feel as they are the only ones in the room when you are with them. Make them feel important and wonderful and precious because they are. In the same way you are. Make them feel that they matter, that they are heard, that they are seen. Promise me you will spread this love and this spirit—whether you are in the grocery store or in the waiting room or in a classroom or in a park. It doesn’t matter where you are. Smile at strangers and let others know that you see them. Some people spend their days never even realizing that they are not seen until someone sees them. And if they don’t smile back, that is ok, too. Some people may not realize what they are missing. That is not your job to figure out…your job is to keep showing love.
Make others laugh. I once read that “laughter is the shortest distance between people.” And that’s why I love laughing so much. When you make others laugh, differences cease. It is powerful and wondrous and joyous. And these experiences add up and fill your heart with even more joy and love.
Find meaning in things. Literally. Words are powerful and beautiful and significant and wondrous things. Words matter. When you smile and see or feel something that makes your heart bigger, define it. Stop and tell yourself, “this moment—this moment is ‘joy.’” When I was driving to work the other day, I was having a kind of frenzied morning, and when I stopped at a red light, I looked up and saw the clouds unfolding, making way for the sun, and everything around me stood still. I thought, “this moment, this moment is ‘beauty.’” And my whole day was brighter after that moment. I wish the same for you a hundred times over.
When I stop to find meaning in things by defining them, I find just that—more meaning. And I want the same for you, my precious things; to slow the world around you down when you can, and take a picture of it not only with your perfect brains but your perfect words.
Difference is beautiful. People may talk and think and act differently, and that is a wonderful thing, and it is also wonderful for you to speak your truths when your “gut” tells you to do so. Tell others how you feel with love, with an open heart.
Do not be afraid of change. Or difference. Change and difference have a lot to teach you.
If your politics or values come from a place governed by fear or anger, please reconsider them, sweet things. Find love and the beliefs that envelop feelings of acceptance and tolerance will follow.
You can reserve judgment without being judgmental. Do not ever believe that others don’t deserve certain things. Do not make assumptions about others. You do not know their truths. You do not know what holes they may have in their heart. You do not walk beside them. And even when you do, it is your job to love and to live through this love.
Do not be a follower.
Go to church or mosque or temple or a place that is sacred to you, on a regular basis. You will learn what it means to be lifted, centered, and humbled, at once. And you will be better for it.
Be silly. And then be sillier. In your living room, in public, it doesn’t matter. Do silly dances, make silly faces, make up songs, be inappropriate, have races with your grocery carts. Just find a way.
Do not worry about what others may think because some people may not have not been taught nor shown how to open themselves up to the world. Do not change who you are if someone doesn’t approve or understand.
Love music. Learn to play an instrument.
Do not stereotype others. The part does not represent the whole. And if you create blanket generalizations about others, you will not leave yourself any space, any room, to let others teach you something. You will have filled that space with ignorance, or worse, the illusion of knowledge.
Please keep laughing at yourself. Always. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You will have plenty to be serious about in this life. You are not one of them.
People–moments–will break you and you may break into a thousand tiny pieces and you may forget who you were, who you are, and you may not remember how to feel or be whole, but I promise you will be one day. You will put back the pieces and replace the old ones with stronger ones, and you will do it all by loving, loving again, and then loving more, again and again. And it will eventually work. That is my promise to you. You will be whole again—and better and stronger—and you will even say that you would do it all over again for the chance to know what you know and become who you are in this moment. You will take all of the broken pieces and celebrate them because they made you you.
And the breaking, the hurt, may even happen again (and chances are that it will), but with these new pieces of you, you will never be broken in the same way again. Find someone, others, who want to nourish these pieces of you. And do the same to others.
We are all broken and beautiful.
Remember how fortunate you are, always, and that others may not be as fortunate. Help those people. Help others as much as you can.
Stick up for others who are hurting. Be loud with your love and your protection of someone who is not being treated with kindness, fairness, or respect. Be his/her voice.
Be great at one thing. And let that thing be greater because of you.
Life will hurt a lot some times. More than you ever imagined or dreamed possible. But in these moments, just remember to feel what you feel. Sit with the hurt, the bad, the pain, the sorrow, the anger, the frustration, the disappointment, the rage, the loss. Feel these things now and be honest with where you are—don’t apologize for feeling too much ever. Feel these things and deal with them head on—reach out, ask for help, write, run, dance, scream, whatever it takes—but just promise that you will not internalize these feelings because they will eventually find a way out. And when they do, they have the potential to run you over. Find a way to let these feelings out, now, as much as you can, to release them from your heart. It will be uncomfortable but you will grow stronger.
Do not be afraid to get hurt or be vulnerable. Some of the most profound experiences that we can have insist on and rely upon our vulnerability.
And promise me that you won’t refuse to let others into your heart if someone hurts you. Do not reserve the best nor the most special parts of yourself, for someone who couldn’t appreciate them. Try again and again and you will find the love that you deserve.
Eat warm chocolate chip cookies and ice cream and get as excited as you would about them as an adult as you did when you were children.
Please do not ever lose the child inside your minds and your hearts. Nurture that child and nurture your own children in the same way, with the same love.
Do not take anything—anything—for granted. Some have more. Some have less. Help those who have less and more. Help until you cannot help anymore.
Take care of yourself—your mind, your body, your spirit. All of it.
Travel. See new places. Learn new words. Meet new places. Learn the world so that you can unlearn yourself, again and again.
Read. Books. Lots of them.
Enjoy food, friends, and these things together. The little things are the big things.
Never lose your wild imagination. Your creative spirit.
And please always know that we all have so much to be thankful for in this life. And I cannot imagine a love that is bigger than the one I have for each of you…it is bigger than everything, than all of it. Carry this love and this knowledge with you everywhere you go. You will never be alone.
I love you, precious and beautiful things, with every part of me, and I am thankful for you today and every day of my life.
Beautiful! The world needs more compassionate living people!
Thank you! You cannot imagine how much your kind words mean to me! 🙂
You completely captured what I mean by beauty when I tell my almost 3 year old she is beautiful. I was in tears reading what you wrote and it truly touched my heart. I agree we need to really re-define beauty or what we preserve as beauty. Thank you so much for sharing this.
You have captured perfectly the essence of the difference between being “pretty” vs being “beautiful”. I loved this!! I am nearly 39 years old and for the first time, after reading this, I might actually understand how to feel beautiful. Thank you for this message!
This is….BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you for sharing your beauty and filling us with more beauty. What a treasure your response is and a true gift to all. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us!
I love that this isn’t truly about how another person looks, but how they make you feel, and not that they puff you up but that they want to just be with you. I think so often we look to others to make us feel good, okay, or happy about who we are when we realize that we are all able to fill ourselves up without needing to take it from others but rather bask in each others glow. WE each have the incredible ability to do this and be this at the same time.
Here’s to an incredible 2014!
Thank you for living out loud. I am in awe of the beauty of the way you think and view the world. And coming here, reading your thoughts, it is changing me in so many beautiful ways. I am eternally grateful to you. I can’t wait to share your definition of beautiful with my daughter.
I just love that she sees how your eyes twinkle when they alight on her in the morning. You truly make her feel loved!
I’m not one to typically open up or share my thoughts often, and I know that you probably won’t see this, but I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything you are doing and for making it possible for people to start talking about mental illness and other issues. You are not only impacting your generation, but you are also affecting a new generation of teenagers, like me. I am 16 and I can relate to a lot to your past struggles and how hard it is to be an extremely sensitive. In the spring of this year, I was in a mental hospital for anxiety, depression, self harm, and suicidal thoughts. I was battling different demons that you were, but they based from the same idea: control and holding things inside. I am proud to say that I haven’t relapsed since and I am more free.
I first saw you on a TedTalk a few months ago and it really clicked with me. Thank you for being brave and showing people that it is okay to reach out and that sometimes like can just really suck. You helped me realize that pushing people and problems away doesn’t solve anything and only makes things worse. Even though I still have a long way to go, I know that I have the strength to march on. Thank you for inspiring me and so many other people to have courage.
You are beautiful. Carry On, Warrior.
You are so brave and full of beauty. <3
Melissa – It takes unusual courage to write so honestly. And you are so young! I pray for the day when mental illness has no more shame associated with it than would a broken arm. In all your struggles, I hope you always remember that you are in the company of some of the truest, strongest souls on the planet. Never forget how brave you are!
Thank you all so much for your kind words. <3 It truly means the world to me. You just made my morning. Stay beautiful, the world needs more people like you. xo Happy New Year!
Melissa, enjoy your freedom (lovely thought!) — and if your demons ever come back, or new ones come knocking, there is a community full of love right here, and there are many more “out there” in the world to help you embrace the bruty of life.
Thank you so much for caring. I needed to hear that today. Wishing you nothing but the best! <3
Thank you. Today I choose beauty.
I think about this so often because two of my three gems are girls. And I have struggled again and again with it over the past 9 years until this past year. Since then I have focused less on myself and more on being myself, less on trying to be beautiful and more on being the beautiful self I was made to be, giving myself the beauty that moves me and giving myself to what is truly beautiful. And instead of struggling to get it “right” for them, it has become a sweet and easy knowing of what is real for me…and that has helped them know what is real for them. I am reminded of what my husband/best friend/co-journeyer used to say when we first met…many women are pretty because that is an exterior quality, lots of them can be hot because that is an adopted attitude, but few are beautiful because that comes from the soul and is a rare find. We all know a pretty exterior doesn’t disguise a broken or hate-filled soul. Likewise, a beautiful soul cannot be disguised by a plain, common exterior…seems I remember something about Someone else who wasn’t exciting to look at, but if you were/are with Him, it was/is heaven on earth.
Thank you, G, for reminding us to see and be the beauty. Thank you for being beautiful and embracing the brutiful.
This is how I will help to guide my three sons in eventually choosing someone to love. Thank you.
This. This is how I am going to explain pretty and beauty to my daughters. Thank you.
: the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind
Thank you, today I will be beautiful!
As you speak for me, so will I speak for you
May it be beautiful inside me
May it be beautiful all around me
I am restored in beauty
(from a navajo prayer that i love to read over and over and over again)
happy new year to you and the family, g
I believe this with all of my heart. I once had a client who was a victim of spousal abuse. The abuse was so horrific, he set her bed on fire with her in it. When I met her she wore this little pink cap to hide part of her face, and her ears that we’re so devastingly scarred. Her skin literally crackled. It took about 2 minutes to see she was one of the most beautiful human beings I had ever met. I didn’t see the scars I felt her beauty come from within and it radiated her whole being. I love this young women,and I admire her deeply for her courage and how she demonstrates what beauty really is.
I spent much of my life being a camelion, until I got sober and met me for the first time” genuinely
Me” I had no idea what beautiful meant. I am So greatful to know today. I think beautiful is a word that discribes authenticity,healthy, physically, emotionally an spiritually whole inside and radiates out.
This is very sweet. I reposted it on my Holistic Health Quest link on Facebook and gave you props as well as my own page. I think this is great.
I got back from a two-week holiday today, leaving behind places of beauty and peace. And now I’m back in the city, feeling bereft, and wondering how to find beauty here. Thanks for the reminder that ordinary things can also beautiful. And that we can be beautiful too.
Lovelovelove this. Thanks for putting words to what I try to do–surround myself with beauty that is soul-nourishing, not self-promoting. Let’s be as beautiful as . . . us! in 2014.
And THIS, is why I look forward to each of your posts! Beautiful!
My son (who is 25 now) was in preschool at the age of 4 and came home and told me about a little girl in his class that was being “mean” to people. I asked him what she looked like (to try to remember which child she was)? He said, “Mom, she is pretty on the outside, but not on the inside”. Out of the mouths of babes.
G, this is incredibly well said. I love it! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing with us all!
I’m wondering if I may quote from this particular piece on a women’s a Capella FB page. Of course I would give credit to you for your wise words…
Glennon, filling ourselves with beauty is one of the reasons many of us come here. Thank you for helping us all be more beautiful. And this would be a lovely children’s book… one of a series of all your nuggets, I imagine. I’ll be watching for it. More beauty in the world for the little ones to soak in. Happy and healthy New Year to you and your family!
What a great idea! I can picture these words with gorgeous watercolors accompanying them. You should collaborate with an illustrator, Glennon.
Holy crap! Not sure why you have to slap me across my face all the time with your words, G, but I am thankful for you nonetheless.
THIS! This is what I try to convey to my amazing daughter everyday! THIS! Thank you for putting it into words on her level.
Thank you for slapping me in the face so many times in 2013. Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone ALL THE DAMN TIME! But mostly, thank you for allowing my extra feely insides to find comfort in knowing they are not alone and that they are a welcome change to the norm.
May you and yours have a blessed 2014, Glennon. You are a world changer and I am honored to know you.
If there is a divine message in the world Glennon this is it. Beauty is there to fill us up and give our souls sustenance. Preach it Sister, preach it!
Amen. This is so lovely. I got goosebumps a little because my daughter asked me just yesterday if we was pretty. I answered clumsily but I love what you say and will certainly be sharing the essence of this with her!
Every little girl EVERYWHERE should hear that from their mum. For real.
Most perfect answer to that question EVER 😀 😀 😀
Thank you. I really need this today.
My One Little Word for 2014 was going to be “light.” However, after reading this post I am changing my OLWord to “Be-you-tiful.” Thank you for your incredible insights and your talent w/ words. I am so excited to explore what being beautiful in 2014 looks like for me.
I love the idea of having a word that gives you direction for the year! I might “borrow” that idea for the new year… So much better than a resolution!
This is so true. I have for many years been in awe of an acquaintance who is a very pretty woman, but not necessarily prettier than other women I know. She is also very wealthy, lives in a 10,000 square foot house, drives a Range Rover, etc. But, oddly, I’ve never been intimidated by her, but instead energized by her. I recently discovered that she is an interior decorator, so I engaged her to decorate the new home we are building. Turns out, she comes from humble beginnings (grew up in Indiana with a single mother). She married well (obviously) and does not need to work. But, she works because decorating makes her happy, alive…beautiful. She makes everything around her beautiful with her passion. She is making my house beautiful. She makes me feel beautiful. Good post!
Wish your beautiful lady fancied a working holiday in New Zealand….. 🙂