a boy and a girl

Every man has a little boy inside of him that desires to be seen for who he is and to hear that he is enough. Likewise, every woman has a little girl inside of her that wants to be seen for who she truly is and deemed beautiful. I believe this. No amount of success, fame, sex, makeup, plastic surgery, cocaine, alcohol, money, recognition, travel, gambling, porn, reading, or knowledge will convince you that you are enough or that you are valued or that you are loved if you don’t value and love yourself. It just won’t. As John Eldredge wrote, “It’s like asking a pearl to give you a buffalo. It’s like asking a field of wildflowers to give you a ’57 Chevy.” It’s not going to happen

You just won’t believe it and therefore it will never be enough. The man that tells you you’re beautiful over and over again won’t be enough if you don’t believe deep in your heart that you are beautiful. If the little girl within you doesn’t accept that and believe it she will come up with the most ridiculous ways in which the man in her life will have to prove it. And then when he does prove it by jumping through an assortment of hoops and running the emotional obstacle course… she’ll just come up with a new one. Because she doesn’t believe it.

In the same way, no matter what kind of success a man has in his career or how much ‘stuff’ he has, he will always want for more if the little boy inside him doesn’t believe that he has what it takes or that he is enough just the way he is. He will continually keep accumulating cars, employees, sexual encounters, etc., with an insatiable appetite because he’s always trying to prove that to himself.

But when you believe that you are enough, that you have nothing to prove to yourself, you gain a sense of freedom that is empowering. It frees you to pursue those purposes that you were created for. It’s a different kind of ‘drive’ and a different way of being. And you can always recognize the person who accepts themself with two very distinct characteristics.

First, they aren’t always trying to win an argument. They don’t care so much about arguments because they are content with the truth that they’ve realized. They aren’t compelled to win because they are right. They are more interested in connecting with other human beings on a deep level and they are all about doing the work they’ve been called to do. Creating is extremely important to them and they’d rather do that than argue with someone. Secondly, their work produces value that benefits others. It doesn’t matter if their work is creating music, repairing cars, or styling hair. It’s done in such a fashion and with such passion that other’s lives are made better because of it.

If you don’t believe that you’re worth being ‘seen’, no amount of overtures will convince you otherwise.. People will break themselves against you trying to convince you that you are loved for who you are. If you don’t believe that you are enough, that you have what it takes, nothing you do or accumulate will prove it to you. You will always feel a sense of emptiness that you seemingly just can’t put your finger on.

Do you have that haunting emptiness? Have your choices repeatedly left you wondering why you do what you do, compulsively at times? Consider that a shift may need to occur where you begin accepting and loving yourself just the way you were created. Give that little girl or boy the greatest gift you possibly could… a little bit of grace.

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"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance." - Oscar Wilde

"When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier." - Diane Von Furstenberg

"And above all things, never think that you're not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning." - Isaac Asimov

"It's not vanity to feel you have a right to be beautiful. Women are taught to feel we're not good enough, that we must live up to someone else's standards. But my aim is to cherish myself as I am." - Elle Macpherson

Are You Beautiful?

Within the music industry there have been a few songs that have been released recently with the same theme. It goes something like this… “This girl, that I think is beautiful, is beautiful because she has no idea that she is so. She doesn’t recognize her own beauty… and that is why she is beautiful.” I get the sentiment. There is something whole and pure about not being arrogant about one’s outward appearance. That being said, I couldn’t disagree with these songs more. Women aren’t beautiful because of their ignorance. That’s not what makes them beautiful. If you have a woman's heart and you’re reading this, you need to know this. You’re beautiful because of the way your particular smile curves on your face. You’re beautiful because of the depth in your eyes. You’re beautiful because of the shape of your cheek bones and the way your hair falls around your face or the way your neck runs from your shoulders .

You’re beautiful because of the way your heart moves for others. You’re beautiful because of the depth of your love for your children. You’re beautiful because of the way you choose your words. You’re beautiful because you were created uniquely with great care. Speaking for myself, there are too many ways that you are beautiful to actually put into words.

Does everyone think you’re beautiful? No. Should they? Yes. If you have a woman’s heart and you’re reading this, there is a good chance that you are fighting these words with every ounce of your being. You may be thinking, “well Brad is right when it comes to other women, but this is not true about me.” YES IT IS! I’m writing to you!

“But Brad, I don’t want to be one of those women who comes across as arrogant and full of themselves.” Then don’t. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your beauty. In fact, embracing your beauty is one of the sexiest, most attractive things you can do. It is whole and holy. Sacred. Just because you acknowledge your beauty does not mean you need to use it to manipulate the world around you. Just because you recognize that you’re gorgeous does not mean that you must use that to gain favor.

Not knowing you’re beautiful IS NOT what makes you beautiful, contrary to what recent pop and country songs have told you. You just are beautiful. Deal with it.

This is one of the most difficult pieces I’ve ever written. Not because the content is complex or complicated. It’s not. It’s just that there are so many more things that could be said at this point. So many ways that one could go with this subject to help alleviate the anxiety and confusion that can often accompany this topic. “I don’t really believe I’m beautiful.” “I don’t know how to accept my beauty.” “I can’t stop comparing myself to other women.” “I don’t want to focus too much on my looks.” “I long to hear my dad say it.” “I just want to have my husband say it.” “What does my beauty affect?” “How does it affect?” “What good is beauty anyway?” “Isn’t beauty just superficial?” “How beautiful am I?” “But I just can’t stand how my _________ looks.”

And I could go on and on. But I’m going to end with this…

Acknowledge your beauty. Embrace it. Sit with it. Sit with it for a long time. Stop what you’re doing right now and tell yourself that you are beautiful. Even if you don’t believe it. Say it. Don’t ask someone else their opinion. If you don’t believe it yourself you won’t believe them anyway. Just tell yourself you’re beautiful. Do it now. Because you are. And you NEED to embrace this. The world needs your beauty and we need you to know it. You’re beautiful.


“When you’re different, I think that’s beautiful. If you’re operating on nothing but who you are really, that always looks good.” ~ Macy Gray

“Define your own beauty… Rejoice in the fact that there is no E=mc² formula for beauty.” ~ Jenyne M. Raines

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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