Tag Archives: Inner Beauty

Advice of an Introvert

Born into a world that values extroversion, we are told to be loud and bold, to be the life of the party. Because to be the life of the party is what everyone wants right?

glitter girl

Maybe not.

As an introvert, I’ve always enjoyed going to parties, but to be the life of the party was never what I set out to do. I enjoy getting dressed up, talking to friends, listening to the music, and observing all the crazy things people decide to do, but to be the center of attention frankly scares me.

Over the past few years, I’ve been pushing myself to be more outgoing and extroverted. To be bolder, and to try new things. To be daring. And I think I’ve done a great job, but when it comes down to it, I’m still an introvert. And I’m proud of it. 🙂

She floated

Often times, extroversion and introversion are confused with one’s personality, when in essence, it is how we energize and recharge. Extroverts recharge by being around people, while introverts recharge by being alone. So it is true that one can be outgoing and an introvert, and vice versa.

Even with this in mind, both extroverts and introverts have stereotypes based on how they are perceived; some are accurate, while others are far from it. Overall, extroverts tend to be seen in a more positive light as outgoing, friendly, talkative, and leaders, while introverts seem to carry a more negative connotation of being anti-social, reserved, and loners.

This saddens me, because neither the extrovert nor the introvert is superior. For it is the combination of both which makes teams, families, and life in general more complete. And to confine an introvert to a stereotype is to limit their true potential. Although introverts may come across as a little more reserved in social situations, that doesn’t mean they are any less friendly.

don't underestimate me

Ultimately, it just comes down to caring for people for who they are instead of trying to make them into something they are not.

Below are a few great ways to care for the introverts in your life.

  • Respect their need for privacy
  • Never embarrass them in public
  • Let them observe first in new situations
  • Give them time to think. Don’t demand instant answers
  • Don’t interrupt them
  • Give them advance notice of expected changes in their lives
  • Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing
  • Teach them new skills and reprimand them privately
  • Don’t push them to make lots of friends
  • Respect their introversion. Don’t try to remake them into an extrovert.
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Live in the Moment

As I sit on a bench looking out at Lake Washington, my thoughts are scattered. I think about my past. The relationships I’ve had and the things I could have done to change the outcome, but I also think about my future. Starting a new job and finding ways to push myself to become who I want to be.

It’s interesting though, that even when we are physically present, we can be living in a different time in our mind. Whether in the past, replaying memories; or in the future, planning our next steps to success. Yet living in the past or the future, can prevent us from truly experiencing the present moment we are in.

It is true that reflecting on the past can be beneficial, helping us learn from both our mistakes and success’. But reflection is merely a visit to the past. It is when we are living in the past that it can become dangerous. Maybe we are living in the past because we believe we have already had our best moments and that the future can’t compare. Or we have regrets. Things we wish we could change. So we replay the situation over and over trying to change the unchangeable.

Looking at the past

Yet we mustn’t get stuck living in the past. Memories, often times, are distorted. The further we go back into our memory the hazier our memories become, making it difficult for us to see those moments, whether good or bad, without bias. As they truly were. We tend to either remove all the negative and see only the positive, or remove all the positive and see only the negative. Neither interpretation which is accurate. We need to learn to leave the past in the past, where it belongs. What is done is done. By living in the past, we are preventing ourselves from moving forward, holding us at a standstill. Just like a train stuck at the platform, we aren’t reaching our full potential.

Past calls

However, living in the future is no better. Where we are always concerned about the next step. Our next career goal, who we want to marry, what age we want to have kids, where we want to live. These are all good things to think about and aspire to, yet sometimes we get carried away. We think once we reach a certain point in the future we will be happy. Once we have this job, we’ll be happy. Once we’re married, we’ll be happy. But once again this kind of thinking just steals away from our present sense of peace and contentment. Because we are always looking ahead; to what is just beyond our grasp. This anxious, goal driven mentality creates a cycle where we are never satisfied with the present and are always looking to the future to make us happy.

Past and future

So I’m going to stop letting the past have power over my present and stop borrowing troubles from tomorrow. Because in this very moment I have so much to be grateful for. The liquid movement of my pen, the sound of the waves lapping the shore, the seagulls flying around calling to their friends, the fresh air tickling my lungs, and the sunlight warming my face.

I would encourage you to start letting go of your past and stop trying so hard to control your future. Live in the moment. Right here. Right now. Be present where you are. Because this very moment is where you are. Embrace it. 🙂

To be alive

The past is the past and the future is the future. But I am going to be present. I’m going to live in the moment.


Beauty in Pain

She found herself lying on the floor again, a place she knew far too well. Tears gently fell from her cheeks, letting go of the dreams and hopes she had held onto so tightly. Yet, this is where God wanted her. At His feet. Humble. Crying out to Him. Of course, God didn’t want to see her in such pain, but He had a plan for her, with dreams far greater than her own and hopes more beautiful than she could imagine.

Romans 8_18

When disappointment comes, most people fail to see the beauty in the pain, with eyes clouded by tears and hurt, they become bitter and afraid, closing themselves off to the world and to their potential to grow. But pain is a necessary and unavoidable part of life. For it is in those moments of our deepest pain and disappointment, where we find ourselves weak and vulnerable, unable and unwilling to get up, that we realize who we are and what is really important to us.

Highest Self

Pain refines us.

Teaching us who our true friends are. Teaching us humility. Teaching us to not make the same mistakes we have in the past. Teaching us to be more careful with our heart. It shapes us into a better version of ourselves. Inspiring us to overcome our circumstances and learn to provide comfort to those experiencing similar disappointments.

Sometimes

Pain and suffering can define you in one of two ways. It can make you bitter and afraid, closing yourself off to life and opportunities. Or it can make you better; growing you, refining you, and shaping you into a better person. The main difference in which direction your heart chooses to take is hope. Never lose that hope. For there is a light at the end of the tunnel and beauty in the midst of pain.

The moon


The Definition of Beauty

When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be a ballerina, because to me, ballerinas were the epitome of beauty. With their elegant grace and elaborate tutus sparkling in the stage light. So when the opportunity to take ballet presented itself, I literally leaped at the chance. Through ballet I learned a lot of valuable life lessons about everything from dedication and prioritization, to friendship and beauty.

Ballerina

Even so, growing up in a dance culture creates a hyper awareness of your figure, which is emphasized by the form fitting leotard and tights you wear each day. As you dance, you watch yourself in the mirror analyzing every move to make sure you are flawless. With such a focus on how your body looks, it’s surprising that you don’t have an eating disorder, like so many girls who struggle with their appearance.

Mirror and Ballerina

Every girl longs to be seen as beautiful. Yet in our culture, we are constantly bombarded with messages hinting that somehow, we in and of ourselves, aren’t beautiful enough. That somehow we are missing something to make us truly beautiful… But if you wear this outfit you will be gorgeous or if you get this new mascara you’ll be noticed for sure. Sadly, due to our insecurities we buy into these lies, which have shaped our view of what beauty is for far too long. Yet without this distorted view of beauty, what does true beauty even look like?

Beauty cannot be confined to a single age, race, or ethnicity. For beauty is found in that mischievous sparkle in someone’s eye when they look at you. In that smile that lights up their entire face, and the joy springing from their footsteps as they walk by. All of which emanates from the inside.

Audrey

I ran across a quote the other day that I found to be very thought-provoking. “Imagine a mirror that could reveal your personality. Would you dare look?” Honestly, this is a scary idea, because what it insinuates is that we would be completely exposed and vulnerable, unable to hide behind the facades we create. We would be seen as we truly are.

Coffee Time

Inner beauty takes time to see, but is revealed through our actions. On the other hand, outer beauty is more obvious, yet reveals no depth of character. According to Glamour magazine, it takes the average woman 1 hour and 10 minutes to get ready each morning. Crazy! This includes showering, make-up, hair, and trying on different outfit combinations to be ready to take on the day. Of course it’s important to try to look our best, but I would encourage you to start investing more time and energy on inner beauty, which will not fade. Imagine the impact you could have on those around you…

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4