I’ll set the scene for you so you can find me: coffee shop, earphones, steaming cup of coffee, lots of sunlight coming in, and a message in my Heart. I offer the following words as food for thought, prepared for you from a place of Love.
On my mind, this morning is Beauty.
Beautiful song. Beautiful story. Beautiful moment. Beautiful Sunset. Beautiful embrace. Beautiful feeling.
Beauty takes many nouns. We see beauty in many, many varying forms and incarnations-each of them beautiful in their own way. Yet, the experience of that beauty can vary from person to person. A beautiful painting that may move someone to tears of profound vicarious experience, may not even stir a second glance from someone else. The same flower set between two people, can inspire completely different responses. Everyone seems to have a favorite color of rose, for instance. So who is right? Are yellow roses more beautiful than red? And what of white roses?
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” We’ve heard that so many times, that it no longer inspires us to think of it’s meaning. This morning, I would like to offer a modified version of this old truth so as to inspire an opening of fresh eyes on your current situation in order to help free you from any traps into which you may find yourself ensnarled.
Beauty is within the Beholder.
Contained in all of the above examples of beauty is one’s experience. Each of these beautiful things inspires and evokes a mutable and uniquely individual feeling within each of us. If Beauty existed independent of individual experience, we would all feel the same way about the art we see or the music we hear. Clearly, we don’t. And this is a good thing.
Most of the time, we recognize the beautiful quite quickly. In fact, more often than not, we know that we are amidst things beautiful, by a sensation of expansion within us. In this sense, we ‘feel’ beauty. Like sadness or happiness, such is Beauty. It is felt. Yet, unlike those emotions, Beauty can be experienced across the full breadth of the emotional spectrum. For instance, there are beautiful moments of sadness. There are beautiful moments of happiness.
It is the uniqueness of Beauty that offers us the most learning.
Recently, I have been working with the concept of the Soul and the Incarnation in my own meditations. The Quakers believed that the Soul was the invisible form of us and the Incarnation (our Body) was the visible. The idea is that the Soul (our essence) speaks it’s own invisible language. Our incarnations, being of the visible world, do not speak the language of the Soul, and therefore must ‘listen’ and seek out through our intuitive Hearts, for the very subtle, nonverbal, invisible voice of the Soul. To be a good Quaker, is to be a good listener. One listens for one’s own Soul’s instruction (”the still small voice.) The Soul is thought to be “of God,” therefore to heed the calling of one’s invisible Essence is to heed the call of God itself. For God, in this template, does live atop clouds and mountains, but within the Heart of the incarnated. Therefore, this template suggests that the Spiritual journey is one of finding and pursuing the Soul’s calling and instruction which is inside of us–existent, but invisible.
My offering for your consideration is this: The Soul is not hiding. Rather it wishes to be found. The things that trigger the ‘feeling’ that is Beauty in you are like white marbles dropped by your Soul so that you may follow these markers and come closer to it. Therefore, you are not weird for finding Beauty where others do not, but rather, you are tracking your way back to your truest Self. In a light-hearted sense, when you seek out Beauty in your unfolding life experience (the internal feeling of it), the Soul guides you by invisibly, nonverbally whispering to you, “warmer, warmer, you’re getting warmer” as you fumble through the dark in search of yourself.
With Love in my Heart, I say to you that I have been witness to those who believe that Beauty is external. For some people, to feel Beautiful requires some kind of external validation from others before it can be fully felt within them. I have spent time with those who do not trust their own experiences of Beauty. Even more tragic, there are those whose experiences of Beauty are so fragile, so delicate, that they can be shattered like a dropped glass by the opinions of others (ie: you experience beauty, another experiences mediocrity, and you decide to trust in their experience over your own.)
For the Love of this too short life, I beseech you to reclaim your feelings of Beauty. Take back Beauty from the judgment of your harshest critics. Engage your senses for the Beautiful without fear, but with zeal. Consider your experience of Beauty to be a liason between Body and Soul; a guide toward harmony between the two. Look for beauty in all things from the tragic to the sublime. There is a reason you find beauty where you do. Trust your feeling of it.
You are as beautiful as you are willing to feel.