“I feel like a walking germ,” I thought to myself, walking down the hospital hallway. “I feel like a walking germ with Rudolph’s red nose.”
I’ve been fighting this cold for a little over a week now. A burning throat turned into a throbbing head turned into a coughing, sneezing, walking germ. Not even the best concealer would ever cover up the bags under my eyes or the red encircling my nose. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly feeling at the top of my game on this particular day.
(And, if we’re being totally honest here, my attitude wasn’t exactly pretty at the moment either. Irritability seems to have come with the cold. ;) )
“Well, what’s a pretty girl like you doing wanting to talk to an old man like me?”
An elderly patient of mine lit up the hospital room with his sweet and friendly smile. I smiled back. Well. As much as I could, anyways. (It’s really not that easy to smile when you can’t breath from your nose.)
“You’ll have to excuse my red nose,” I laughed, “I’m getting over a cold.”
“All I see is your smile,” he said with a wink, before preceding to tell me about his gorgeous wife who he had been married to for 55 years before her passing from cancer. “You remind me of her a little,” he said. “Make sure yon’t settle for your future soul mate. He’ll love you through anything and everything. Through sickness and through health,” the elderly man said softly.
I left the room with so much on my mind, so much on my heart.
For one thing, we as women are told repeatedly how we must look, act, feel a certain way in order to achieve true beauty. Let’s be real. Any one of the many women magazines lining the shelf will tell us exactly what kind of hair men want (short? long?) and the very same magazine will offer us guidelines on how to become that woman. Beautiful.
Sitting here typing away with my reddened nose and makeup-less face, I quite honestly don’t feel very beautiful.
And yet. One has to wonder.
What is true beauty? Is beauty having the longest, thickest lashes? Is beauty having shiny, luxurious hair? Is beauty having flawless, polished skin? Is beauty having a size 2 pair of jeans?
I would argue that true beauty is found in the love between a man and his wife of 55 years. True beauty is found in the laugh lines because of “too much smiling” (and no, I don’t want a miracle cream that will erase them.) True beauty is found in an elderly man sitting in the hospital, sharing his smile and stories.
Before you start thinking, “Sarah, get off your high horse and come back down to reality!”, let me assure you that I’m not saying that I don’t love dressing up, putting on makeup, trying out the latest blush. I do. It’s fun! But to prove my point, think of the most influential, most well loved woman that has existed in your life and ask yourself what it is that has made her so beautiful to you. Is it her perfect skin? Her flawless fashion? Her designer shoes?
Or is it something else, something deeper? Something that not even the magazines could ever hope to achieve.
Who is one of the most influential, well loved woman in your life and why?
What does “true beauty” mean to you?