I don't frequently think of myself as pretty. On the other hand, I also don't look in the mirror and hate what I see. I think I am the definition of ambivalence when it comes to outward appearances.However, at certain moments, I think we all appreciate a well placed compliment.
Today was one of those days.
I felt pretty. I allowed myself to be pretty, and I allowed other people to notice. It is tremendously hard for me to accept compliments. I try to brush them off or wave them away with words. Many times, being complimented is awkward, and I feel like I don't deserve them.
Walking into work today, one of my coworkers told me I looked pretty. A mother of one of my students stopped me and told me I was pretty. "I love your smile", she said. "I am glad you seem so happy". One of my roommates called me pretty when I got home later that night.
Lent is about sacrifice; giving things up and changing yourselves. Lent is not really giving up chocolate and soda or cigarettes. It is about seeking closer relationships and bringing yourself closer to God. Sometimes Lent means taking on more than you give up in order to better yourself.
Here's what I learned: I am pretty.
It's okay to embrace that and feel good that people have noticed you and complimented you. It's okay to feel pretty. And most importantly, it is okay to allow people in and compliment you. One of the things I am going to take on during Lent will be to allow myself to be receptive to the kindness of others.