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I got my little monthly $10 makeup subscription yesterday. 

The card in the picture above was included.

With each little delivery, there is always a small cosmetic bag and about 5 sample (or full) size products to try. 

But I don’t pay for a subscription to Ipsy for them to provide introspection opportunities for me.

Still, it happened.

I’ve been mulling that card over in my mind all morning. I put it on my mirror. 

And I think I’ve finally figured out how to fill in that blank.

I’m not.

Not permanently.

Because I think, sometimes, what I need to conquer today might not be what I need to conquer tomorrow. 

Today, I need to conquer some bitterness.

Tomorrow, I might need to conquer arrogance or judgmentalism or just a bad damn attitude. 

That’s why I put it on my mirror. 

Most days, at least 6 out of the 7, I’m going to look in that mirror. 

I’m going to attempt to tame the frizzy curly mess that sits atop my head. I’m going to remove unsightly facial hair. I’m going to apply moisturizer. I’m going to try and look my best and present that particular face to the world. 

The one that is put together. 

It’s not about covering anything up. Or being phony. 

It’s often about protection. An armor, not a mask.

Confidence, not insecurity.

Bringing out my best features.

As I thought about that card this morning, I also thought about the contents of the bag in which it came.

Here’s what I’ve decided. (Ipsy had no idea just how deep this gal can reflect.)

As I use the shampoo, I will think about how I can conquer my attitude when little frustrations (not unlike bad hair days) try and get the better of me. 

As I use the highlighter, I will think about how I can conquer the negativity in this world by highlighting the best in people and promoting good news.

As I use the eyeliner, I will think about how I can conquer ugliness in the world by accentuating the beauty of what is already around me. With words that already exist, I can use the writer’s pen that has been given to me to shine a light on good and lovely things.

As I apply the sparkly eye shadow, I will think how I can conquer someone else’s immediate needs by adding some sparkle to their day. With a hug. A smile. A listening ear. A validating conversation. A compliment. A cup of coffee or a lunch date. The ways are endless. And cost so little.

And as I apply the lip stain, I will think about how I can conquer my own demons that tell me these little things that I’ve mentioned don’t matter. 

I put on a lip color somewhere in the middle of my morning makeup routine. Lip color sort of ties a whole look together. That “pop” of color can make or break whatever pallete I’ve chosen. 

It’s the one cosmetic that I have to reapply throughout the day. 

And we have to keep applying goodness. Even when the news is bad. Even when we don’t exceptionally feel like it. Even when we’re tired of trying and not seeing any immediate results. Those little acts of kindness, of goodness, of grace – they are the moments that tie our whole lives together. Without them, everything else is just sort of, *ahem, “cosmetic”.

Life lessons in a tiny makeup bag. 

Goals and hopes and aspirations because of one sentence with an empty blank.

What will you conquer today?

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