What If I Am Ugly?
The question came to me quite a few years ago, in a moment of solitude. What if I am ugly? After all, beauty is all in the eye of the beholder, right? So it’s possible that some people might not find my face and body pleasing to behold. Or maybe just one person. Or maybe most people. Really, what difference would it make?
Many people ask themselves this question in moments of self-doubt or self-loathing. The question can be loaded with so much fear. “Oh no! What if I am ugly??” The implications being: “I would be less liked, less worthy, less likely to find love.”
But that was not how I asked myself this question. My attitude was one of investigation, like a little mental experiment. If I am physically unattractive… then what? Well, after some deep pondering, my answer to this question is: THEN NOTHING. I am still the same person, with the same hopes, abilities, character, and heart. Regardless of what I look like, I am still living the best way I can. And I believe it is the same for all people.
It seems that we humans are often searching for something genuine to fill whatever emptiness we feel. In many ways, this is a positive drive, since it leads to wonderful creativity and action. But sometimes this searching, this yearning, causes us to turn on ourselves and worry about ourselves. “Am I really okay?” Then we look to each other for reassurance and acceptance.
If I am walking in the desert, extremely thirsty to the point of desperation, it will not help me to meet someone on the way who exclaims, “Wow, lady, you’re gorgeous!” I will still be suffering from thirst, regardless of how I appear. This thirst represents the longing we humans feel in this world. We can easily be fooled into believing that our superficial qualities, like looks, social status, and financial success, can get us what we need to quench this thirst. But ultimately, these things turn out to be unsatisfying if we haven’t discovered what truly nourishes us.
If we want to fill the empty yearning with things that will satisfy and strengthen us, we need to go to a deeper source. We need to seek the pure, sweet refreshment for our thirst, which exists all around us… and within all of us. This springs naturally from the heart. It’s the overflowing fountain of kindness, respect, and love.
When we are nourished with what we truly need– kindness, respect, and love– we can finally stop feeling inadequate, stop worrying about our appearance, and stop comparing ourselves to others. We can finally know that we are truly beautiful, in a way that has nothing to do with appearance. And while we are receiving this miraculous nourishment, it becomes easier to also give it freely to others.
So, what if I am ugly? Well, that’s ultimately a silly, pointless question!
I am beautiful, because I am full of love. And so are you.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Madelyn Douglass lives in Florida with her husband and son. She feels lucky to have so much love in her life.