Monday, July 20, 2015


My family took a road trip to Utah this week. I made a list for my mom of things that I wanted her to bring from home for me, my car registration, my old iPhone case, proof of insurance to keep in my car, and my Disney backpack.

Wait, what?
Disney backpack?

One Christmas (I think I was 7) my mom bought me this backpack.

I remember hating it. I told her that I knew the kids at school would make fun of me for wearing it. She reassured me that all would be well, so I took it to school one day. Turns out, it wasn't the kids at school that made fun of my backpack, it was my teacher, Mrs. Ethirveerasingam, who told me that it looked like a parachuter's backpack. I was mortified and never took it to school again.

Over the years, I started collecting special things in the backpack, my favorite charm bracelets, programs from my graduation ceremonies, inspirational quotes I had found through life's journey. This backpack became my treasure chest. I slept with it by my pillow just in case a fire broke out in the middle of the night or some other natural disaster occurred and I had to leave in a rush. I even told my mom that if I died at a young age I wanted this backpack buried in my casket with me (I was a strange child).

I hadn't touched this backpack in years! On Thursday night, Tiana and I went through the contents and I was hit with a hard wave of nostalgia. I also got a little bit sad as I rediscovered the contents of that backpack, thinking of moments I had spent in my adolescent years not appreciating who I was and wishing I could look e a little more like someone else. I looked at my collection of trinkets and memories and thought, "these things belong to a beautiful soul!'

I've had a couple of thoughts lately on beauty and what it means to 'be beautiful.' My thoughts are not completely developed and so if you have thoughts, please share!
I'll let you in on a little "secret"...I've never dated anyone! & I'll let you in on an even bigger "secret"—that has never really bothered me! Hence my use of quotation marks. I just know that for some, this can be a scary thing to reveal...

Too often I think we define our beauty by what other's think about us, how many boys are pursuing us, how many people compliment our different physical features or overall appearance, how many 'likes' we get on a photo on instagram/Facebook, etc. On the other hand I feel like sometimes discussions on 'beauty' often leads to an unnecessary amount of hating on those who the world deems beautiful. 'They're not real!' 'They're beautiful, but really dumb.' 'She's pretty, but she has a horrible personality!' 'Well, but she's dressed super immodestly.'

I think hate in ANY form is ugly.

The following isn't doctrine. It's an opinion from the gospel of life according to Lauren. I honestly believe that Heavenly Father blesses us with different talents and gifts, and for some people one of their gifts is to be physically attractive by the standards of the world, and you know what, THAT'S OKAY! I think being physically attractive can be both a strength and a weakness. As with any gift, it can blind us, it can distract us from our true purpose, 'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.' Just because I wasn't given the height or body type of a model or celebrity, I don't think that God loves me any less or that I'm any less beautiful; because the thing is, I've been blessed with so many other talents, gifts and abilities! Along with that, I know that I am a daughter of God with infinite potential. & if that's true, what else matters??

Growing up, one of my happy songs was 'Video' by India.Arie (I think it was first released in 2001!) If you have never heard the song, PLEASE watch the music video blow! There is so much truth and wisdom contained in the 3:45 minutes of the music video and you can't help but feel good about yourself when you hear it.

Just to highlight some of the gems of wisdom contained in the song:

I'm not the average girl from your video
& I ain't built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally, 
Because I am a queen
Every freckle on my face is where it's supposed to be
And I know my creator didn't make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes, I'm loving what I see

Today, I was looking at CNN's website and found this project called The Atlas of Beauty where a Romanian photographer documents her journey around the world to capture beauty in the environment of cultures around the world! I love it!
All photos from the Atlas of Beauty

Am I prone to moments of weakness where I'm not the biggest fan of myself or what Heavenly Father has given me? OF COURSE! But, I'm pretty good at snapping myself out of it because I whole -heartedly believe in what Sis. Elaine S. Dalton shares in the video below.

I have tried to live by the motto, 'be loyal to the royal within you.' It's my personal belief that when we pass on to the next stage of eternity our beauty will be measured by the glow of our countenance. Stacy Talbot shared this scripture from the Book of Mormon with me while I was in Argentina,
And they did impart of their substance, every many according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.
Comely isn't a word that we use very often in today's day and age, but it means 'generally pleasant and attractive-looking.' In fact, in the Spanish version of the Book of Mormon comely is translated to atractivos.

I have such faith that light cleaves unto light (D&C 88:40) and that we can do more good when we seek to develop our inner beauty rather than obsessing over our physical features.

I truly & honestly believe that EVERYONE on this earth has the potential to cultivate a beautiful soul and that we are all Kings and Queens in training.


EMILY said...

I really enjoyed this. Such an uplifting read! Love you and miss you sooo much.

Post a Comment

Leave a lovely little letter.