Truth is Beauty

I can’t think of a more courageous motto to live life by than “Truth is Beauty”. I have had several reminders of this important truth the past few weeks as I spent time with two inspiring women, my mother and mother in law. Two woman who “own who they are” (Eldridge Broussard’s motto) and their stories, and accept themselves wholeheartedly. This is a practice and a choice.

Growing up, respect was the most important thing to my mother. She had a newspaper clipping hung in the kitchen with the golden rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” However, she practiced the platinum rule “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” I grew up with four siblings and my mom treated us each with respect, but differently, because we were different and had different needs. I also grew up watching my mom be open and friendly with everyone she met from the mail man, the grocery store clerk, to my friends. People feel instantly comfortable around my mom because she is comfortable with herself, flaws and all. She not only speaks of her values, such as respect and acceptance, she practices them in her daily actions. She is honest and true and this makes her beautiful. My mother in law, who is a bit more introverted than my mother, exudes a similar beauty. She is quiet, content, and grounded. Both women practice the ideal of “Truth is Beauty”.

I believe this is a courageous way to live because it requires you at times to be vulnerable, which opens you up to criticism, judgment, and rejection. From a young age we are conditioned to try to “fit in”, some of us more than others if we or others put pressure on us to be “popular”. We all want to fit in and belong, but belonging and fitting in are different. Brene Brown breaks it down best. “Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else.” To belong we have to know who we are, what we value and what we believe in, and practice it. We have to be real with ourselves first, so that other accept us for our true selves. The reality is people are going to judge us, criticize us, and reject us, but it is most damaging when we do this to ourselves.

Kevin Breel speaks about the fear of his own truth in a powerful Ted Youth Talks about his depression (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3yqXeLJ0Kg). He talks about living two separate lives, one the show he puts on for others and the other his depression. He profoundly and powerfully states that he didn’t fear sharks or girls like everyone else, he feared himself, his vulnerability, his honesty, and his truth. Through his talk he shows that speaking and living your truth open and honestly is courageous, strong, and healing and that is beautiful.

In talking to a teen about this today we listened to a song by India Arie called “Break the Shell”, I will leave you with a few of the lyrics to ponder as you embrace the motto “Truth is Beauty” for yourself.

Child its time to break the shell
Life’s gonna hurt but its meant to be felt
You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself
You cannot fly until you break the shell

Courage is not being hard
It’s time to peel back all of the layers
You put between who you’re meant to be
And you who are
And go be who you are

So much disappointment to finally understand
That there is no such thing as perfect
Were all simply doing the best that we can
And we have a choice to live or truly be alive

This is your life

Child its time to break the shell
Life’s gonna hurt but its meant to be felt
You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself
The bird cannot fly until it breaks the shell

Do with these words what you will
Its time for us to be for real
You’ll be stuck on the ground until
You finally break the shell