Friday, August 23, 2013

In the face of true beauty...

A few years back, my daughter came to me and asked when she could wear makeup. The question perplexed me at first because the child needs nothing but a smile to make her face up. Then I realized that she was starting to see cosmetics emerge on the face of her friends and so naturally, she wondered when she could partake.

I honestly wasn't prepared for the makeup talk since I rarely wear anything but lipstick on my face. I tried it in my younger years and it just didn't suit me. I decided that I would make do with the face I’d been given and see what would come of it. Years later, so far so good, at least that’s my humble opinion.

I told my daughter that she didn't need makeup, at all…ever…in her life. I wasn't harsh but I was honest about what kept me away from becoming an everyday user of cosmetics. I told her about being 14 years old in my first high school and hearing a girl say that she couldn't even go to her mailbox without makeup and that NO ONE saw her without it and I was in shock. I’m thinking we’re 14, we just got these faces! No one here has a wrinkle line ANYWHERE!! That’s when I decided that I only wanted one face because having to be so guarded about my God given features was just too exhausting. Besides, the first time I got on the school bus sporting blue eye shadow, after an in school makeover, there were giggles-a plenty. That also sealed the deal.

I told my daughter that she wasn't ‘not allowed’ to make her face up but that it was just too early to make such adjustments, along with the fact that she didn't need it…like, ever. Apparently I was stuck on that fact and couldn't get off.

She dropped the makeup request and never picked it up again. She had apparently made her own evaluations and came to some conclusions about how she chose to emerge into womanhood. What she came up with makes me proud. Her choice of interests, her academics, her spiritual life, her social views, what makes her laugh and cry all somewhat adorn her in the most unique way. She has grown so much in so many interesting ways and it shows. We often discuss female objectification in Hollywood (which she did a presentation on for school) and how there is an expectation that women should not age in front of the camera. We find it insane not to be allowed to show your age in this society when aging is a natural progression in life.

We celebrate birthdays but begin to hide the numbers as the years go on. We hide our gray. I tell myself that it doesn't look good on me but vanity plays a major role in that decision. And as women, we struggle with the image in the mirror more and more as time goes on as if time should not go on.

A while back, I decided to go with a beauty treatment that would last a lifetime and hopefully it is beginning to take effect. I decided to rid myself of all bitterness, contempt and poisonous behavior and boy has it been a journey. I knew that my heart needed a makeover for a long time but I wasn't sure how to get there, so I handed it to God and left it with him. When God allowed me to see the visual in my mind’s eye, I tell you, I have never seen a more putrefying site. My heart looked like its own rotting corpse full of holes and puss oozing out everywhere. That thing had been beating in my chest all these years with so many pains and hurts trying to hold me together. No wonder I felt so weighted down and bedraggled.

 In the vision, when God took my heart from me, He didn't pop into a magical factory and reappear with a bright shiny new one, He kept it and it’s been with Him ever since.

There has been a constant cleansing that occurs when one has an organ so full of muck but I gladly surrender to it…most days. God is an amazing surgeon, one who sees without needing to make incisions because we are His very own design. Having my heart in His care has made all the difference in the world and I really rather not have it back.

I still experience pain and ill feelings. I still feel its pulse speed up whenever my emotions are alerted. What I don’t feel is the overburdening residue of never being cleansed and cared for. I will admit for sure that my heart is in good hands.

When our hearts are constantly being cared for to such an intricate degree, we have no choice but to be beautiful. The glow is inevitable and the aging process doesn't go away but it is displayed in the most honorable way.

Last Christmas, I bought my daughter a full blown makeup kit because I could see the depth of who she was and I trusted her judgment and confidence about her looks. I took notice that she put more stock on the inward things than outward and I knew she was ready if she wanted it. Except for special occasions, she barely uses it. The timing was indeed right… 

J sporting her natural twist and that smile.

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