One word. Only one word. But such a deep, meaningful word if used correctly or said by the right person. Granted, it’s thrown around quite a bit most days, and used to describe somewhat trivial things at times, but at it’s core it is one of the most appreciated compliments one can receive or give.

To be called “beautiful” isn’t something that most people say to one another just in passing. “Good morning, Linda. You’re beautiful. Want a coffee?” “Hi Sam, can I walk with you? You are beautiful.” To use the phrase “beautiful” one has to be so moved, and feel somewhat connected to the receiver, to feel comfortable usually. And yes, there is the casual “hey beautiful” from construction workers and the occasional creepy old man. Or your girlfriends trying to cheer you up. But the norm is usually something much more personal and intimate.

I realized this idea not too long ago while out with a friend one night. We had gone to a concert and walked over to a local bar afterward to have a drink with other concert goers. The crowd was happy, singing along to the songs on the jukebox, it was festive and friendly.

As we walked in, two gentlemen were standing at the bar watching us walk in – not something that I am accustomed to at this point in my life after twenty years of marriage. Somehow being 50 makes you feel invisible in most places. They immediately invited us over and offered to buy us a drink, and we started the process of getting to know one another.

As the evening went on over the next couple of hours, one of the men commented to me “god, you’re beautiful! ” To say that I was flattered would be an understatement. I blushed like a schoolgirl! He didn’t just say it once and let it hang there, no. He repeated it to me a few times over the course of the night. I blushed and thanked him each time. It felt weirdly good, even exhilarating. I smiled more, I laughed more. I felt confident.

Me? Beautiful? When was the last time I had been told that I was beautiful?

I thought about this over the last couple of weeks and realized that it had been a long time since I had been told that I was beautiful. By a stranger or even my husband. True, my husband had written it in a birthday card recently, but from my memory, he had never really said it to me. In over twenty years. Ever.

And that made me think about how important one word can be to a person. How it can affect how they see themselves, how they feel about themselves, and how they feel about their place in their relationships. Feeling beautiful from the inside should be enough, I agree. But feeling, knowing, that someone else finds you beautiful is like breathing in the freshest air on the clearest day with the sun warming your skin.

It fills you up, it lifts you, and you feel invincible. You feel beautiful.


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