There's not really a cool way to say this, so I'm just going to dive in: I felt beautiful today.
Now, I just clicked through 4692 photos taken today that say otherwise - in the photos I saw the Me that I see most days. The Me that has taken a bit of a beating in recent years - the Me with dark shadows, weird skin, and more double chin than I'd like to see. The Me that has clearly had far too many short nights, far too many early mornings, and just a few too many glasses of wine. The Me that hasn't had enough time to work out, and way too much time sitting still during potty training (them, not me.)
Nonetheless: today I really felt like one of the prettiest girls at the party.
It wasn't my outfit - although it was just fine. It wasn't my makeup - although I did take the time to put on eyeliner. (Woot!) Sure as heck wasn't my genetically cursed hair.
You know what? It wasn't even just me that noticed. An acquaintance stopped me after church and told me that I looked 'just radiant' today.
Then, later, I got an email from a friend (one who'd also been at church). It said "you...and your family positively radiate love. It makes me smile." And the light bulb clicked on.
The thing is, it wasn't anything physical about me that looked at all different today. What was different about today is that I went out into the world knowing in the deepest parts of my heart that I am loved - and that equally, I have a tremendous amount of love to give.
This has transformed me in ways entirely unreachable by any plastic surgeon's instrument, and in ways entirely unaltered by losing ten pounds or by purchasing a new dress.
Love has changed me - it has made me beautiful in all the ways that matter.