I remember being a little girl watching my mom put on lip gloss. She got really focussed. She looked in the mirror and puckered her lips just so. The gloss always smelled really good – like berries or candy. Then she would mush her lips together making sure both lips were covered. Every once in a while if I was very good, she would let me put some on too!
That’s how I learned that my lips were the most important part of my face. The part that deserved the most attention. It didn’t matter if I was out playing on my bike or in a fort in the dirt…my lips should always be pretty and glossy and smell like candy!
Then as a teenager I started to get pimples. Like every other teen I was the victim of unscheduled eruptions that ruined my whole week. From watching everyone else, I learned to cover my face. I used foundation, highlighter and powder to try to make my whole face look uniform. No big red swollen spots Here! No Sir!
That’s how I learned that covering up my face was the most important part. Don’t look natural. The more makeup the better. At work, at school, on a date….my face should always been that perfect shade of non-shiny beige.
Recently, my eyes have caught my attention. How did I get those dark circles? And why are my eyebrows looking so pale? I guess It’s that grey hair creeping in. I use a little concealer under my eyes although it’s hard to find stuff that doesn’t settle into my wrinkles. And draw on some eyebrows…quick!!!!
That’s how I learned that my eyes are the most important part of my face. The part of my face that I wish still look young. The windows into my older soul. The part of me that looks back at me in the mirror. My eyes that change color with my mood. Grey when I’m upset and blue when I’m happy.
From someone who has been there, please know that it really doesn’t matter if you are wearing fruity smelling lip gloss, or if your makeup is covering your zits. Whether your eyebrows are on fleek is of no concern.
What really matters is that you use your mouth to speak words filled with loving kindness. That when you do speak, you speak to everyone…the homeless, the singled-out, the nerds, the popular kids, the people who seem ok but really aren’t, the ones who need you to tell them, “You are not alone.” That you use your words to speak out against injustice and hatred. And that you also learn when NOT to speak…that’s a tough one.
It’s important that you use your face to be real. No hiding, no wearing a mask, no pretending to be something you’re not. “Perfect” is not the destination. We need you to be YOU. Because you have an individual purpose that no one else can achieve. Turn your face towards those who need to be seen and heard. Face the crowd. Face the Music. Let your face be your autobiography!
And finally, work to SEE people for who they are on the inside. Look on others with patience. Look through their mistakes and into their hearts. Look for the silver lining. See what is good in the world and find grace for each and every soul you meet.
And then you will be truly beautiful…..