I am not a big fan of pain, let’s just get that straight. I am not advocating that people physically hurt themselves for beauty’s sake, but to each her own. We all have our own beauty rituals. However, this mantra is more about sacrifice. Back then, it was dealing with the prospects of pinning up hair tightly to get it to look perfect, or wearing a shoe that was going to hurt after five minutes, but makes the calves look phenomenal. It is about pushing past the pain to let the beauty shine through.
Yesterday, as I was getting a facial, I thought about this old mantra. If you have never had a facial, I find them to be the most underrated beauty treatment available. It starts with a steaming and cleansing of the face and neck area. Then, gentle exfoliation with a light brush. Then, your eyes are covered and out comes the large magnifying glass, bright light and little silver tools. The process is called extraction, and it consists of removing all of the stuff under your skin that you cannot see with the naked eye and removing dead skin that is still on your face. As I was lying there yesterday, during this process, I momentarily wondered why I was voluntarily putting myself through the pain, even paying for it. I subsequently remembered what my face looks and feels like after each facial. It feels clean, light and fresh, maybe even a little unburdened. And, after the extraction comes a relaxing massage.
There is a point to all of this. I have sometimes heard people say that there is no pain in love. I find love to be the ultimate expression of beauty in this world. While I do not believe that one should take abuse, physical, mental or emotional, from someone who claims to love them, I do believe that in love, the ultimate expression of beauty, there will be pain. When a person truly loves, it oftentimes starts out as refreshing and relaxing, but when it comes time to get past the surface, there are some sacrifices that need to be made. And, many times, those sacrifices are painful. Sometimes it means putting those who you love before your own desires. Sometimes it means giving up things and people that you feel you need. Sometimes, the person you love does something that would never bother you if another person did it, but because you love them, it hurts. I am not speaking of casual love; I am talking about real, deep relationships with God, family, spouses and true friends.
Sacrifice and pain are not pleasant or fun. And, again, I am not talking about a person who maliciously tries to harm you. I mean those times in love when you have to make a choice that is uncomfortable, but is what is best for the relationship. If you can push past the discomfort, you can reveal true beauty; something even more satisfying than what you had before. For anyone who is still doubting that there is pain in love, look only to our Savior. His sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, was beautiful. Jesus had to push past the pain to reconnect us with God. None of us will ever feel the type of pain He felt or give as much as He gave. Still, I am grateful that the beauty of His love knew no pain that day. It is not that it was not painful, but that He endured the pain for you and for me. That is true love and beauty and because of His sacrifice, we can enjoy more beautiful, fresh, new, unburdened relationships with God and others. Ms. EV