‘I’ve been at the beach this week, and I’ve seen all kinds of bodies’: Mom’s revelation about the only time our bodies are beautiful

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I’ve been at the beach this week, and I’ve seen all kinds of bodies: curvy bodies, sharp bodies, full bodies, flat bodies, voluptuous bodies, thin bodies. And it’s all been an incredible spectacle.

I’ve seen women holding hands with their husbands. I’ve seen women running around on the beach unencumbered with their kids. I’ve seen women sitting around uninhibited laughing with their friends. I’ve seen women stopping dead in their tracks to enjoy the sunset spread out like watercolors over the ocean. I’ve seen women put down their phones to be present long enough to absorb the goodness happening right in front of their faces.

And it’s reminded me of just how beautiful our bodies are, and how often we forget the only purpose they truly serve: to act as vases, as capsules, as buildings to hold our hearts and our minds, our feelings and our ideas. As vehicles to help us jump around from one place to another.

That’s all they really are – just outside stuff, just wrapping. They’re amazing, but they aren’t everything. They aren’t even the most important thing.

Big, little, short, tall. Athletic, or slightly cellulite-y. Smooth and soft and subtle, or slightly wrinkled with age and sun and wisdom. No matter the size, no matter the shape, no matter the color, no matter the age – our bodies become beautiful when, and only when, we use them to do something beautiful, like pursue our passions, or give to someone in need, or bring another life into this world. Like spread light, like share kindness, like pour goodness and grace and mercy and love to a world that is on its knees desperately begging for more of it.

Our bodies don’t become beautiful when we work out, go down a size, get a tan, Botox up, trim up, or become an ideal weight. Our bodies become beautiful when we make the decision to use them – no matter what they look like – to serve God and to serve others.

So please, please, please stop fretting over that last 10-20 lbs. Stop stressing about that pouchy baby belly. Stop worrying about those sun spots on your nose, those laugh lines around your mouth, or that frizzy hair that just won’t grow as long as you wish it would.

And go out, be brave and use your body to be the person God had called you to be. That is true beauty, my friend.

Amy Weatherly

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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