At 57, I look back at my career and realise that I have spent much of the last 20 years advising on how to achieve the healthiest and youngest looking skin naturally. I do this because I know that ageing and the stress that comes with the judgments we have on our physical bodies can be a distraction from learning to appreciate ourselves and our differences.
As a result, so much of what I do is aimed at giving people the emotional, mental and physical tools that support them to look after themselves on the inside and the outside. I do this through my TV shows on food; my professional skin treatment range; my books on skin and beauty; and my magazine FACE SECRETS.
Yet my personal journey has taught me, that when we get to the point where we can appreciate our differences and feel good about how we look, we are able to acknowledge that how we look is only the smallest part of what makes us beautiful human beings.
Having come into contact with thousands of people over more than 25 years I have come to understand that we are geared to self-judgment. Whether the person I was talking to was a supermodel or someone who hasn’t focused on fashion or beauty in any way, somehow they all believe they were never young enough, thin enough, sexy enough or attractive enough!
Which begs the question – What are we really looking for in our lives…looks or love? ‘Love of course’, I hear you say! But the irony is that real love is the exact opposite of anything that could possibly be attained via a certain look, age or body shape.
The problem is that we live in a world that is conflicted about what real love means. The truth is ‘that every one of us is worthy of being loved regardless of our physical appearance’, yet everything in our day-to-day tells us that there is an indelible link between ‘having looks’ and finding love.
And let’s be clear. ‘Having looks’ is short for never getting old or having wrinkles or putting on weight or living with any perceived physical flaws. Perfection in other words!
Yet perfection – physical or otherwise, has nothing to do with love.
So why do we buy this myth and torture ourselves with the belief that our value is tied to the way that we look?
What would make someone who is 50 believe they should look like someone who is 20?
What would make us believe that finding love requires us to be young?
Why would we think that a wrinkle on the face makes us less attractive rather than give us more character and reflect a life well lived?
Why would someone who has birthed and raised grown children believe that they should have the same body they had at 18?
And why would our paradigm of thinking default to body part evaluation that leaves us feeling not good enough?
Perhaps at the core of it we are confusing the advertising images that depict the fantasy of beauty with the reality of living a good life?
Perhaps we feel compelled to believe that looking a certain way will give us the life and love that will make us happy? (We only have to look around to recognise that this isn't the truth!)
But believing that our looks are the most important aspect of our being ensures that there is no room for growth, allowance to age gracefully, celebration of individuality or appreciation of differences – all the things that make up a rich life - but not a perfect one!
My experience of love is that it thrives in environments where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated; where kindness is as valued as passion; where respect is earned by our daily acts and choices; where we give without asking for anything in return; and where we know the value of giving in, but never giving up our integrity. This has nothing to do with our physical bodies looking a certain way.
I believe we all need to recognize and acknowledge that ‘good looks’ have nothing to do with ‘good love’.
For love has nothing to do with age or physical appearance – but everything to do with self belief and what you truly believe you deserve. It defies logic and rational thinking and goes well beyond any shallow definition about being ‘in’ or ‘out’ of someone’s league.
No doubt when it comes to love and our looks we need to look at the beliefs that we carry silently as these shape how we live and how we love. In many cases it is our negative beliefs that keep us locked into a limited definition of who we are. Changing our beliefs can liberate our lives…and I believe we are all worthy of being liberated.
So whether we are finding love, making love or keeping love, we need to treat ourselves kindly, to remember our innate goodness that we posses as human beings and to celebrate all of who we are; as only when we do this will we find a person who’ll truly cherish us. But being cherished does not depend on us being a certain age, a certain weight, a cardboard cut out of someone famous, or something someone else thinks we should be! It relies on us being the very best version of ourselves. For the relationship we have with others is only a reflection of the one we have with ourselves – the way we think and feel about ourselves and our level of gratitude for the body and life that we have been given.
It is important to keep in mind that none of this is easy. It is a road with many challenges. But my own path tells me that what doesn't challenge you won’t change you; for every insecurity and self doubt provides us with an opportunity to find the truth of who we are…as long as we are willing to look at it and listen to what it is telling us.
I have been married for 26 years and with my wife for 30 and I know that love is a journey that evolves along with our physical bodies. It is this journey that gives our life meaning, fills our heart with purpose, increases our vitality and helps us remember the goodness of who we are and the goodness of God.
“Beauty comes in all forms, shapes, colours and sizes.
When we can accept this simple truth we will no longer hurt
ourselves and others
For the simple things that make us human.”
GL SKINFIT INSTITUTE®