About a year ago I read Jennifer Pastiloff’s book On Being Human and she talks about beauty hunting. I love the idea of looking for something beautiful every day. There is so much beauty in the world, beauty that doesn’t conform to any idea of what society says is beautiful. I’m talking about finding the beauty that speaks directly to your soul…the kind of beauty you know you are meant to recognize and that seems to speak your language. There is something for all of us.
I’ve seen it every morning and every afternoon. Even though I despise my commute, my favorite part is seeing the sunrise and the sunset. There are colors so brilliant, I can’t help but know that is the work of a higher power. My mind will wander a bit as I look at the sky and I think to myself, “I wish I could paint that,” and I instantly know that it could never be replicated like that. I had a similar moment while we were at the grocery store the other night: there were these orchids so purple they looked fake, like they were almost blue. They weren’t, but it was something I know no human could replicate. These colors speak to me, nature speaks to me because I am of nature—as are you. When there is something in the natural world that makes you stop in your tracks, that is the kind of beauty I’m talking about.
That beauty reminds me of how small I am. Even the smallest things have a role in this world. We are there to facilitate something. On a planet of this scale, to still be the little guys in the universe, that tells me there is something so much more out there. There is a hand in something. Or are we all infinite little worlds within something else as it is? I know those thoughts seem illogical, perhaps erratic, but stay with me. There is peace in knowing how little we are. We have built up our small role in this world to carry the weight of the universe. There are unimaginable things out in the universe—and we get to be a part of that. We don’t need to take this life so seriously. Sometimes we are meant to simply slow down and appreciate everything exactly as it is. Find the beauty in what is. Not to mention on the cosmic scale of thing with the billions of galaxies out there, statistically our stories may not add up to much. But that isn’t a reason to find the beauty—it’s a reason to relish it.
We have the opportunity to be here and now and to experience all that THIS life has to offer. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we’ve trained ourselves to think we need to do as a way to get through this life that we miss the point of existing—which is to experience it. Yes ambition is great, but sometimes it is too great a burden for a fragile thing. Now, don’t mistake me, I know we have all endured days when life got the best of us, but the balance is so fragile that finding a way to keep what is important in perspective is key. Also, knowing that our perspective is self-created is pretty important as well. If we can train ourselves to believe the negative, we can certainly retrain for the positive. It just takes work—same energy, different focus.
So I choose to see the beauty. That doesn’t mean I don’t have moments where I am completely stressed out—that happens quite frequently, actually. But knowing that I’m creating that stress means I can stop it and I’m getting better at it. The truth is, there IS a lot of ugly in the world and most of that comes from us. But the greater truth is that there is so much MORE beauty out there and if we can put aside the noise and focus on that, we will see life in an entirely different way. So whether it is the sunset, my son laughing at anything, one of my cats curled up on my desk, or enjoying an amazing meal my husband made, THAT is what I focus on.