Saturday, September 3, 2011

Finding Beautiful

I think everyone should be told they’re beautiful until they believe it. 
- Unknown

Mama taught me more than a few things that stuck. One of them has to do with taking that extra moment on any given day, no matter where my head is, (and most especially when it is out of the world or up my ass) to say a few kind words to a stranger. It used to embarrass my ex, she would stop at a stranger's table to say,  "What a beautiful family you are," or, "the parts of your conversation that carried over to me that I should not have been listening to, were perfectly delightful." (The latter we all felt a little embarrassed about.) On the hot days of summer at her old apartment when the Hispanic crew were worn slap out, Mama would fix trays of ice tea and cookies and walk outside and motion to them to come and she would serve them a little respite. I have seen her stop a stranger on the street to tell them what a beautiful smile they have, a beautiful blouse they are wearing, how pretty their hair looks that day, something, always finding something she could compliment them on... sometimes reaching out her hand to touch them softly on their shoulder as if she knew they needed reassurance. This was and is Mama's way of telling the people she knows and doesn't, they are beautiful.

I try to remember. 

I might have been the other pea in my Father's pod, but in many ways, I am my Mother's daughter.

I try to combine Mama with me.  I try to find my own way to voicing kind and beautiful. 

There is no end to the ways of telling each other we're beautiful, if we trust ourselves to do it, step outside the comfort zone, reach out and down and say loudly in the quietest of ways, "You are beautiful." That one moment of our spontaneity births another moment of serendipity and maybe a little mirabilia. That one moment is an extra, the kind of extra that deep inside we all need and sometimes hope for, the kind that could change a life and the kind that in the end, will be what changes a world. 

The water, the breath, the food, they sustain us, being told we are beautiful gives us back our hope. The think tanks, the physicists, the philanthropists, the groups doing all the big and small of changing the world, somehow or way they began when kind met beautiful out loud and then they grew together.

Or,  maybe they met Mama. 

It is time for me to start the "You are beautiful" list, telling at least one person or one more person a day they are beautiful, and trying to see the beauty in at least one person I don't find beautiful at all. It needs to be a footnoted list, where every time I don't notice and should, I think about it and don't, and where every judgment that stops me seeing, will write itself. It needs to be a miles long and world traveling list, where its numbers grow and the footnotes shrink. 

Banjoel says it will take a long time, the telling everyone they are beautiful until they get it. It isn't just that enough of us might not be saying it but it is also that most people might not be hearing it. Beyond that he says it is doable. 

So I don't know who you are and when you read this, but when you do, I have this to say. 

"You are beautiful."

 I mean it. 

And if you don't think so, sit down and stay there until you figure it out, all the ways or any of the ways, you are beautiful.

Then sit with your own beauty or any part of it you can own.

And when you are done, go tell somebody else.
And mean it.


  1. I love your, Mama! I LOVE YOU!! You truly are BEAUTIFUL inside and out! xo♥

    GOD bless you
    I love you both very much Lynne

  3. From "The Velveteen Rabbit". "By the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because ONCE YOU ARE REAL YOU CAN'T BE UGLY, except to people who don't understand."
    xo to a beauty and her beautiful mom who are real (but not shabby!) (;
    Thank you for reminding me to step outside of my comfort zone to pass it forward.

  4. 2nd time I've tried to post this:
    Lucie -- this is a beautiful post about a beautiful person written by another beautiful person! I love you all very much!! Dee

  5. I love this post and your beautiful mama and your beautiful self! I try to say something nice to strangers, too, and it's wonderful to see the glimmer in their eyes upon having their own beauty acknowledged. Thanks for reminding us to spread the love!

  6. If you tell someone they are beautiful, you are really telling them they are loved, for love always sees beauty. And being loved is the most precious thing in the universe.

  7. So beautiful!!! Lucie you and your mother both are beautiful and I feel so fortunate to have you in my life and in my family. Love is the most power force in the universe. I will always try to remember this and tell at least one person a day that they are beautiful. Love you, BA