Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beauty and Self-Esteem

I recently discovered an article by San Juanchos on the Blogcritics Magazine site entitled, "Ladies, Ten Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem." The last suggestion on the list (#10) is worthy of note:

"Understand that the most important part of beauty comes from within. Outer beauty fades through time, but inner beauty lasts throughout your whole life. Cultivate your spirit, read, soar, and don't spend so much time in front of that TV!"

This suggestion points the reader in the right direction. It encourages the nurturing and healing of the soul. Here's the problem: While many people within secular culture who read the article would probably agree that cultivating the spirit or nurturing the soul is something good, what these things really mean probably escapes most people. They may have a vague notion of cultivating the spirit, but their understanding would likely not reach very deep.

By living the Orthodox way of life we can diagnosis the root causes of our unhealthy self-image and receive the medicine that both heals our self-image and restores our inner beauty. Cultivating the spirit and nurturing the soul involve synergy, the cooperation between God and us. We don't need 10 ways to improve self-esteem, but we need the One who can allow us to see ourselves as we really are and heal us.

Copyright © 2007 by Dana S. Kees. (The painting by William Bouguereau is from the Art Renewal Center.)