“You are not your body and hair-style, but your capacity for choosing well. If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.”EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.1.39b-40a
You are not your outward appearance. That’s something that we all know, but sometimes it bears repeating anyway.
You’re not your clothes, you’re not your accessories. You are not defined by your good looks or lack thereof. You are not your fabulous hair or your long eyelashes, or your job or your car. These are outward trappings — they are not the real you.
Then what is the real you? The real you is defined by the choices you make every day. You are the effort you put into choosing well, and from that comes real beauty. Just like Epictetus said today in The Daily Stoic: if you choose beautifully, then you will be beautiful too.
And thank goodness for that! Because your physical beauty (if you happen to have been blessed with any) will fade. Everything changes, always. You’ll become old and wrinkly like everyone else does, and there’s no avoiding it.
But your capacity to make good choices and seek the truth will endure, and that will keep you beautiful beyond your years. Real beauty, mind you — not that skin-deep kind.