“To seek after beauty as an end, is a wild goose chase, a will-o’-the-wisp, because it is to misunderstand the very nature of beauty, which is the normal condition of a thing as it should be.” ~ Ade Bethune, The Sun, June 1996 …
The inability to see beauty in the normal condition of a thing, to me, is one of the greatest afflictions that can beset us as human beings, for it robs us of that which is irreplaceable–living our lives to the fullest. You see, when we “seek beauty as an end,” that means that we do not believe it to already exists, and therefore, we consume precious moments of our lives in search of that which is already there… moments that we cannot get back.
Beauty endlessly exists all around us and in us. Unfortunately, most of us were taught to look for flaws in life, and so instead of seeking beauty, we become focused on seeking flawlessness, which not only is unrealistic, but temporary and fleeting–it is a fool’s errand. And so because of the beliefs and biases we have learned throughout much of our lives, our tendency is to look at things how we want them to be, instead of how they truly are.
Our normal condition is beauty. Not what society tells us beauty is, but exactly how we were created–in the image of God. And when we can truly realize and accept that beauty is already inherently a part of our very nature, we can concentrate instead on those things that truly bring happiness and purpose to our lives–showing compassion, love, care and concern, nurturing ourselves and helping others, giving of our time and our talents, building up ourselves and others, and so much more that seeks to add to the positive in this world.
What beauty exists in your life at this very moment? Are you seeking it in yourself? Are you seeking it in others or in the world? If so, stop, it is already there, you simply are not seeing it. And if you are not seeing it, then perhaps it is time to ask yourself, “Am I seeking beauty, or am I seeking an ideal?” Beauty is abundant, whereas, ideals are far and few. Do not doom yourself to searching for gold, but not knowing what it actually is or what it looks like, or you will end up with fool’s gold. Open your mind, heart, and eyes to what beauty truly is, and you will discover it throughout the world–in others, in things, and in yourself. Thus your world will transform into a place of great beauty, and your life will transform into a life of abundant beauty and joy.
Take a moment to see the true beauty all around you.
Questions to consider:
From where do we get our ideas of what beauty actually is?
Why do most of us not recognize true beauty when we see it?
How can we go about learning to understand more clearly and accurately just what beauty is?
For further thought:
“Somewhere, in the back of your mind, try to remember that everything has God’s fingerprints on it. The fact that we can’t see the beauty in something doesn’t suggest that it’s not there. Rather, it suggests that we are not looking carefully enough or with a broad enough perspective to see it.” ~ Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff… and it’s all small stuff