http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswiKQbtwXQ

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ove brings us this video that presents a project called Real Beauty Sketches. The idea is to help women reassess the way they see themselves. It is a simple yet extremely clever idea.

I think the video could be very useful for any female audience. When referring to beauty, we must be sure to understand it in a deeper sense when we say: “there could be nothing more critical to your happiness.”

Beauty goes much deeper than external traits. Beauty is the irradiation of God’s goodness and it is found, above all, in those who reflect God’s image through a life of holiness and charity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswiKQbtwXQ

A Deeper Look

What sadness it is to be blind to oneself! What tragedy it is to perceive nothing but flaws! What anxiety believing oneself deprived of beauty! And if we are so tough on ourselves for our external traits, how much more so with our interior ones! Is not the Christian path one of authentic self-discovery? Are we not called to overcome the extremes of vanity (an excessively negative or positive vision of ourselves) so as to discover the truth of who we are? Just imagine this same exercise with Christ as the sketch-artist! In discovering the goodness and beauty that God has placed in each one of us, we enter into an experience of joy and thanksgiving for his gifts! This joy, this fruit of encountered beauty, is one that impels us to go and share it with all those around us! To do apostolate, is it not our attempt to open the eyes of others so as to witness God’s beauty?

Apostolic Aid

In addition to the idea of reassessing one’s vision of one’s self, the video  also evidences a fundamental anthropological reality: there is a lot about us that we aren’t aware of (both positive and negative elements)! For this, I would suggest taking a look at the “Johari Window”. (The majority of the information found below is taken from here.  I have made a change or two.)

The Johari Window is a communication model that is used to improve understanding between individuals. The word “Johari” is taken from the names of Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, who developed the model in 1955.

There are two key ideas behind the tool:

  1. That you can build trust with others by disclosing information about yourself.
  2. That, with the help of feedback from others, you can learn about yourself and come to terms with personal issues.
Explaining the Window

The Johari Window is shown as a four-quadrant grid, which you can see in the diagram below.

Johari Window

The four quadrants are:

1. Open Area (Quadrant 1)

This quadrant represents the things that you know about yourself, and the things that others know about you. This includes your behavior, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and “public” history.

2. Blind Area (Quadrant 2)

This quadrant represents things about you that you aren’t aware of, but that are known by others.

This can include simple information that you do not know, or it can involve deep issues (for example, feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, unworthiness, or rejection), which are often difficult for individuals to face directly, and yet can be seen by others.

3. Hidden Area (Quadrant 3)

This quadrant represents things that you know about yourself, but that others don’t know.

4. Unknown Area (Quadrant 4)

This last quadrant represents things that are unknown by you, and are unknown by others.

According to a Christian vision, this 4th area is needed in order to account for the human person as a mystery. Only God knows us in our entirety. Only He is able to perceive the depths of our being and loves us a such.

In order to discover these elements (always in a limited way) we must turn to prayer and to our relationship with Christ – for  only in Jesus can we come to the full understanding of who we are: “The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light… Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.” (GS 22)