Defining Inner Strength

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

by Pete Ferguson

What defines beauty?

If you are a parent or sibling, you likely see infinite beauty in your child, parents, or siblings.

But taking away the media filter – and personal bias – what is beauty really?

Beauty shouldn’t be about changing yourself to achieve an ideal or be more socially acceptable. Real beauty, the interesting, truly pleasing kind, is about honoring the beauty within you and without you. It’s about knowing that someone else’s definition of pretty has no hold over you.

~ Golda Poretsky

Last night I made the unfortunate mistake of starting Season 3 of “Beauty and the Geek.” The premiss is very high school-ish: take the “popular” girls and match them up with the guys with no social skills. The girls are supposed to learn to get their inner geek on, and the boys gain confidence and break out their inner beauty.

Of course the twist is that you find some of the girls may have physical beauty but inside are broken, selfish, and hard to find really beautiful. And the “geeks” – once they are give some confidence and required to make an effort at talking to women – start to reveal their intelligence and inner beauty in a public way.

Facebook is a great social experiment. It allows us to see where high school and college friends ended up. It allows us a bit of a crystal ball of how things would have been if we’d married differently, taken on a different career path, or made other choices differently.

I was not able to attend my 20-Year High School Reunion because my son Miles was born at that time. But Facebook allowed me a very wonderful realization – while I was not “popular,” I choose excellent friends to hang out with.

I have no interpersonal regular interaction with anyone from high school. But they give me a “like” or quick comment when I post pictures of my children, link to this blog, or bring up important events. Twenty years later has revealed their true strengths and beauty. They are good, supportive quality people with strong family values.

In life, we need a bit of a mix of both skills – we need to connect in meaningful ways with others – and we also need to have confidence and take a chance at success. We need to connect with our inner geek, and then allow it to flourish and become something beautiful through sharing it with others.

“When you’re a beautiful person on the inside, nothing in the world can change that about you. Jealousy is the result of one’s lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-acceptance. The Lesson: If you can’t accept yourself, then certainly no one else will.” ~ Sasha Azevedo

All quotes from


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