Beauty is …
The dictionary says that beauty is a combination of qualities such as shape, color or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
I think that this is much too simplistic and cannot possible even come close to describing what beauty is or where we can find it.
I am a seeker of beauty and I have found that this has awakened and opened my heart to things that I may have never noticed otherwise. This has led me to places in my heart and mind that I am so filled with gratitude for as it has changed the way that I see life and the world.
It’s no wonder that reading a passage from one of my favorite authors, John O’Donohue really touched my heart and reinforced my quest to seek beauty everywhere I go.
He said, “We have often heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is usually taken to mean that the sense of beauty is utterly subjective; there is no accounting for taste because each person’s taste is different. The statement has another, more subtle meaning: if our style of looking becomes beautiful, then beauty will become visible and shine forth for us. We will be surprised to discover beauty in unexpected places there the ungraceful eye would never linger. The graced eye can glimpse beauty anywhere, for beauty does not reserve itself for special elite moments or instances; it does not wait for perfection but is present already secretly in everything. When we beautify our gaze, the grace of hidden beauty becomes our joy and our sanctuary.”
I stumbled upon this and I couldn’t help but to be brought to tears. So much of what I’ve felt and thought found within his words and led me to believe even further the meaningfulness of my task.
This is not something that came to me because I am always a positive person as that is far from the truth. I have been through my own ‘dark night of the soul’ and wondered if I would ever make it through. it was at this time that my quest for beauty first began. I told myself that if I could find one thing of beauty and one thing to be grateful for each day, then there was still hope.
That one thing per day ended up turning into two, then to three – until I found myself reaching out from the darkness and back into the light. Then before I knew it, beauty and gratitude had led me to an awakening to life that I had previously not known.
As beautiful as that awakening was then, it is something that can easily get lost and fade into the background in the midst of our daily struggles, problems and responsibilities.
I must admit that I have gone days, even months at times when the eyes of my heart are closed and the whole world continues to spin with me being none the wiser. Sometimes I will remember right away the importance of my quest and I am able to find my footing right away.
At other times I may lose my way so much that I become completely lost and am unable to even remember my quest, much less able to get myself back on the path again.
My heart may whisper for me to come back but the noise of the world and of my uncooperative mind drown out the oh so important messages from my heart.
Thankfully, eventually I am able to find my way back. Sometimes it’s because I become so lost and heartsick that I cannot bear even one more day going through life blindly getting by. Other times I believe that life sends me a message of beauty that simply cannot be ignored that jars and awakens the eyes of my heart.
I hope that if you should read these words that you too might find an awakened heart. My quest for beauty will not be the same as yours, but if we should meet along the way and share a part of our own journey, oh what a beautiful thing that would be.
Beauty is …
What is beauty to you?