simcha is the beauty of the aged

What does it mean to be truly beautiful? You can recognize it from the energy you feel when you’re around an old person who smiles and their wrinkles squeeze together and their eyes light up. They have lived all of life’s ups and downs and come up on top, enjoying, laughing, joking, and being real. Every scar and wrinkle is one they love because it is their lives.

In our baal teshuva journey we sometimes forget to enjoy the journey. Stop. Give yourself the chance and the time to enjoy the process. And when you’re 120 you can look back and smile at it all. Then you will know beauty. Then you will be beauty.

As Rabbi Nachman of Breslov puts it:

מצווה גדולה להיות בשמחה

It is a great mitzvah to always be happy.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. prog4 says:

    There is beauty everywhere, in all. That old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is very true.
    It is just that many of us cannot see that beauty.

    1. Baal Teshuva says:

      Very true prog4. We don’t see it in others and we don’t see it in ourselves. Dove created their viral video campaign ‘real beauty sketches’ because research found only 4% of women think they are beautiful.

      1. prog4 says:

        Well yes, it is well understood that shrewd marketers know how to tap into that need or desire to be “beautiful” but obviously this is not the kind of beauty we are discussing.
        What is unfortunate is the misperception of these women (and men) regarding beauty.

        1. Baal Teshuva says:

          Beauty within is often visible in our eyes, smile and manner. You can see it externally. For self image, how we see ourselves externally is often a reflection of how we see ourselves internally.

          1. prog4 says:

            Yes.
            So I am a little confused about the relevance of the Dove campaign. How can this have any effect on these things?

          2. Baal Teshuva says:

            The campaign exposes that the issue is our perception more than physical reality. Our perception of our external beauty is intricately associated with our perception of our internal selves. Knowing this helps us focus on developing our real beauty, instead of resorting to plastic surgery.

          3. prog4 says:

            Right. I understand now. Thanks for clarifying.

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