Monday, 15 June 2015

Letting go of vanity

I've been struggling recently 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!

3 comments:

Feather Stone said...

I know what you're experiencing. My awakening to my vanity came as I aged. For all my youth I focused on looking my very best, all the time. This issue is not so much a case of vanity, but an ancient impulse to be accepted by the 'tribe'. Good looks is an indicator of health, which in ages ago, meant strength, survival-ability, able to provide for the missus and kids. In short, the continuation of the species. So, don't go a put yourself down because you're thinking your vain. We still look at each other in terms of health, but we call in beauty or good looks. What counts is that you're working towards improved health. Turn your negative thinking into a positive affirmation. See your inner beauty, the loving and wise person. Let your wonderful personality shine so bright. Worthy people will only see that part of you which matters most.

Surrender to the Infinite said...

What a beautiful thing to write! And very true. Thank you...

Anonymous said...

Saw your work on 100 days & loved it. Clicked your blogger link & read the skin condition & booom! I suffer from this too but live on cream and antihistamine to try to control it ! Look forward to following your journey ! Katey X