“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ~ Confucius
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the hardest to do.
And often, the universe sends us exactly what we need to see, but we don’t catch it right away.
Just the other day, I caught a glimpse of my youngest daughter standing on a fresh, vibrant, emerald-green field, looking up.
Admiring the beauty so willingly, her tiny body gazed with glee, instantly catching a rainbow that hugged a dusty patch of dark and dreary clouds.
For her, it was a magical dance under a candy-colored arch.
For me, it was a sentimental pause during my most challenging of days. A painting of grace in its most natural form.
In retrospect, it was a syncretic moment showing how light always exists amidst the darkness.
It also served as an important reminder of how we sometimes fail to acknowledge the beauty that’s right in front of us. How we, sometimes without realizing it, push away those rich experiences that fill our cups. How we miss out on opportunities that may improve our lives.
Sadly, it made me think back to a time when I probably wouldn’t have noticed the beauty. I would’ve been preoccupied, maybe a little too cranky, or found something cynical to say.
Why do we do this? How can we let this happen?
It’s no surprise that our internal world shapes how we process our external world. When we feel chaotic and turbulent on the inside, it’s easy to get entangled in the complexity of our emotions.
When we don’t feel good, we can also be in a hurry to try to change it. We push the difficult feelings aside. We bury them. We point fingers and blame others.
We don’t always allow our waters to flow naturally.
We also forget to simply breathe. We don’t fully let it in, allow it to move it through us, and then breathe it out. When we hold the heaviness for too long, the emotional gunk gets stuck.
We can, prematurely, jump to conclusions about people and ourselves.
We can take life way too seriously.
Whether it’s a simple snapshot, a warm hug from an old friend, a compliment given, or a thank you expressed genuinely—are we allowing ourselves to experience the beauty that’s right in front of us?
Here are three simple things that help me see the beauty around me. May they also be of benefit to you.
1. Seeing the good in others. When the world seems harsh and cruel, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of negativity and contempt. When others have different viewpoints than ours, we can also be quick to criticize or judge prematurely. We must remember though that not everyone travels the same journey. Different perspectives and differences are the ingredients that makes us unique. Most people are doing the best they can. Be gentle and choose to see the good.
2. Feeling it all. We are built to carry a wide range of emotions. When we choose to feel it all, we expand. Our guards come down and we seek deeper connections. We loosen up our tight grips. Ultimately, we feel more comfortable in our own skin.
3. Letting yourself be loved. When we give ourselves unconditional love, acceptance, and compassion, we can also give the same to others. When someone offers a compliment or says, “I’m grateful for you,” realize that you are appreciated and let yourself feel that someone cares. Let people love you in the special ways they’re able to.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.” ~ Native American Proverb