I haven't written for this blog in a long time. To be honest, I haven't been feeling up to it. You see I've been struggling with a demon I'd suppressed for a long time and now he's out and he's vengeful!
The demon is called seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition I've been managing with mild cortisone creams. Finally, after many years, I'm acknowledging this is not a solution. In order to truly heal I have to find and understand the underlying cause and address it.
So I stopped the cream. Up came the rash and with it my vanity, my attachment to beauty!
It's very easy to say glibly that beauty comes from within when you feel pretty, but when you're looking in the mirror at a scaling, swollen red face it becomes much harder. All the insecurities I thought I'd gotten over came crushing back on top of me. The shyness and social anxiety, the fear of failure, that crushing sense of defeat and apathy we call depression. And all because my face is no longer beautiful!
I see clearly now just how much of my self-worth I've attached to my appearance. In truth I'm completely and utterly vain!
Letting go of physical beauty has been very hard for me and I still hold great hopes that I'll discover the root cause of the problem and regain my clear healthy skin. Of course this would be beneficial on many levels, as the rash is clearly only a symptom of a deeper malaise, however I've come to realise that even if I do not permanently lose my beauty now, I'll certainly lose it soon enough!
Letting go of vanity forces us to look deeper within ourselves to find our worth, to bring to the fore all the gifts and talents that truly give us value as human beings. These are the things most of our friends and family love us for. They may admire our beauty, but they love us for our kindness, our humour, our generosity.
Why is it then that we place such a high value on something so shallow? Could it be (shock, horror) that we've been brainwashed by our consumer culture? No... surely not!