Yesterday we spent the day with my husband’s family for Easter. Our 5 year old niece was full of energy and needed a brief sit-down distraction, so my husband showed her our wedding photos on his phone. She brought his phone over to me and swiped through a few photos of me getting ready on our wedding day. One particular photo wasn’t very flattering so without thinking, I said, “oh no I look ugly there”.
She immediately looked at me with wide eyes in disbelief. “No you’re not! You’re pretty. You’re gorgeous! How can you not see that?”
I was quite taken aback by her impassioned response.
She later took my hand and lead me to a mirror in one of the bedrooms. “Look in the mirror,” she said in a bossy tone. “Look how pretty you are.”
I felt a bit silly having a 5 year old try to convince me that I’m not ugly. But at the same time I thought it was so sweet.
Children are usually honest and speak their minds fully. Their perception of us is markedly different from our own perception of ourselves: which is tainted by society, celebrity standards of beauty and Instagram filters.
Children are full of curiosity and wonder, and their minds are fuelled by imagination, unrestrained by the cynicism and the trappings of the mundane adult world.
How great would it be if we could unlearn some of the beliefs and patterns of thinking that limit our wonder and imagination? How great would it be if we could focus our minds on the simple spectacles of everyday life, and experience awe and appreciation on a regular basis as children do?
Because if you really take a step back and ponder some of these simple things in life, it’s hard not to see the beauty in them. Consider these facts about your body: your heart has been beating non-stop, over 100,000 times a day since you were only 5 weeks old in your mother’s womb. Your nervous system is laid out in such an intricate way that your brain can tell your body to move in the way that it wants to. Your eyes can see 576 megapixels while the latest iPhone camera sees things in 12 megapixels. If your bones break, they will heal. When you look at yourself in this way, like a child would, it’s hard not to see yourself as anything other than a beautiful, extraordinary being.
“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is”- Master Yoda