Recently while walking through NorthPark Mall Center, a random woman in Macy's smiled at me and I smiled back. She walked over and said, “You are so beautiful!” “Who me?” I asked. She replied, "Yes, you. You are gorgeous. I couldn’t help watching you as you entered the store." I was on guard immediately. I searched her demeanor to see what she wanted from me. Looking hard, all I saw was a woman sincerely smiling and nodding her head saying again, “You truly are striking.” I demurred, thanked her and walked on.
I looked nice that day but not special. I was dressed in regular clothes - a fitted red tee, black & cream printed cotton pants and black pumps. My 'fro was looking funky, imperfect but cool. As usual, I felt good and radiant in spirit but certainly not beautiful. I think of myself as smart, caring, resourceful, inquisitive, creative, fit, and fun but never as beautiful. This total stranger had me wondering what she saw. I thought about her declaration all the way home.
Interestingly, the universe conspired with that kind woman. As I settled into my drive, I selected a random radio station on Spotify, and to my surprise, Musiq Soulchild began serenading me with his song Sobeautiful. That was nice. Then bam - I almost wrecked my car when the next song came on! It was my man Al Green singing Simply Beautiful! Now, you and I know that neither Musiq nor Al had me in mind when they penned their songs, but all I heard over and over was "You're so beautiful". I thought it must be true because a random stranger and two soulful crooners said so.
And at that moment what my brother calls my Kool-Aid grin, crept across my face and a fullness spread in my heart. I knew what really made me appear beautiful to the woman. It was the simple joy of my day. Prior to going to the mall, I'd spent time writing notes of encouragement to a few friends. I'd danced uninhibitedly for an hour all by myself. And I'd made a shopping list to purchase fresh ingredients to make my favorite seafood stew. I know it sounds trite, but it's true. Plain and simple - I was content. It was evident in my smile, deportment and walk.
I am convinced that when we choose to be content, kind and positive our beauty comes through. Each of us is truly beautiful when we value what's within us. It's hard to ignore our physical appearance, after all, it's the first thing people notice about us. But starting today forget about the wrinkles, postpartum bodies, flabby arms, flat feet, shaky hands, flabby bellies, skinny legs, gray hairs, and wobbly chins. Forget about what you think needs fixing on your body. You are beautiful right now just as you are. Choose to project your unique beauty in how you laugh, give, live and love. You won't be able to contain all that is wonderful about you.
And become more conscious of beauty radiating from others. Take a look around you. Whom do you see walking in their beauty? Be a random stranger bearing a joyous message and step right up to him or her. Tell them, as I tell you -YOU are absolutely beautiful!