Why I cannot allow a friend, a friend I love, to persist in a shallow understanding of life?
It is because I love him.
If love is defined as having a mere physiological response to someone whom we are attracted to, then my claim is an error.
If a loving relationship is actually a bond between two people desiring only what is best for the other, how could I not want this for my friend?
Some matters of belief and action are actually six of one and a half-dozen of the other. One man opens a beer bottle with a can opener, another can do it with his lighter.
Makes no real difference.
But some ideas and notions of belief form the very person that we become: our ideas, our inspirations, our motivations, things that have profound consequences on many aspects of life, happiness and fulfillment, for example.
If a parent says to their child over and over again, “You are ugly, no one will ever love you.”
How could these words not become the person’s sense of self over time? Especially if no contrary message is provided?
On the other hand, what if the parent said, “You are beautiful, anyone who doesn’t recognize that doesn’t love you.”
Now we have a child who will grow to understand a healthy notion of what it means to be loved.
Someone once told me, “I know love is greater than beauty and attraction, but I must look beautiful to find someone to love me.”
If we tailor ourselves to people who are only pleased by looks, we will discover the approval of, not surprisingly, shallow people concerned only about appearances.
It cannot be denied that beauty plays a powerful role in the field of attraction.
Truly, physical beauty should always be a secondary concern within our search for a lifelong mate. The difference I am suggesting is that character, virtue, compassion, and understanding are the forms of beauty which we crave far more, whether we are willing to admit this or not.
It works exactly in the reverse as well.
Those who are strong and wholesome people in life, are attracted more by these qualities than by looks alone.
This reality creates the greatest impediment to adopting this understanding of who we are. It means that we cannot just alter our appearance in the hopes of becoming better more attractive people. We must make real, internal life changes; changes that will hurt because they are personal, but will mature us into someone who is truly attractive to the people who really matter.
It is tragically ironic. Those who seek to fulfill their selfish ends by judging on beauty alone, cut corners and impatiently grasp at relationships that look pleasing, which in the end sacrifices their own happiness of finding a partner who truly loves them!
For it brings the heart inexpressibly more joy to know complete love and acceptance, then to date a “ten out of ten”.
I am not suggesting that beauty and strong character are mutually exclusive, they often coincide.
The difference is between immaculate grooming which is excessive, and taking proper care of oneself as a means of respect and personal expression. The first implies only one message: “I’m an object that is only loveable if it is beautiful.”
To believe that I must be beautiful in order to be loved is a lie.
It is the worst of lies because it causes us to sell ourselves short.
It can cause us to settle for someone who claims to find us ‘beautiful’, instead of waiting for the one who actually loves us.
Besides, despite all the creams, powders, pills, antioxidant filled pastes, and injections in the universe, beauty fades.
If someone loves you only because of your appearance, they will hate you when you grow old and lose your looks.
Plain and simple.
So to my friend: you deserve a woman who loves you just as you are.
Not as a cliche overused phrase, but as an actuality.
Tailoring yourself to anyone different is a fool’s errand.
Telling yourself you need to look better to find love is killing you from the inside out, because it is demeaning your own self-knowledge of who you are, and the love you deserve. In addition, it distracts us from the real personal change that needs to happen, the necessary maturation that will transform us to be loving, attractive people.
It is painful to wait, to want companionship and in not finding it, having the patience to wait, until the unexpected surprise of meeting the one.
She’s out there, and she will love you, just as you will love her.