Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

Let me ask you...what do you see?  Right now, look around and say aloud (unless that would freak those around you out) and say what you see.  An amazing trait of humans is our ability to stand in the same room or place and see completely different things!  For some, our eyes go to color or pattern, for others they see the one imperfection in their field of view and for yet another, the movement in the scene.  Perhaps there are as many ways of seeing as there are people in the world.  Imagine....7 billion sets of eyes to see something that is right in front of us, but remains hidden to all but one set of eyes!!

While I do not think I am alone in this, I know my eyes are wired to see beauty.  Take me almost anywhere and I will see the beauty that resides there.  Even now, as I write this (on paper!), I am at the mall waiting to have coffee with a friend.  In these pre-opening hours I see the beauty of two women walking in friendship, the elegant curve of the back of food court chair, and the peacefulness of a quite place to sit and write.  I have never photographed a person I did not think had some striking, beautiful  quality (no matter how many wrinkles)!!  Heck, I even think old "junk" has a beauty to it....hence my propensity toward second-hand stores and my secret love for the metal scrap yard I often drive past.

I see beauty.  I see it almost everywhere.

However, because I see beauty, I also see when people miss it or hide from it, and I am realizing how sad that makes me.  An amazing woman who doesn't like a photograph because she doesn't like her nose...a friend struggling with how to wear her hair because she doesn't embrace her beauty...another friend hiding her beauty behind her capability and efficiency...and yet another saying words to diminish herself...why do we run so furiously away from beauty?

To see beauty in ourselves or around us means to take a stance of truthfulness.  Beauty cannot share space with arrogant pride or false humility (which is really just another form of pride, isn't it?).  We must not aggrandize or lessen ourselves....we simply see.  (And it is OK to smile at what we see!)  To allow our own beauty to be seen means we come out of hiding.  We stop playing hide-and-seek and step out of the shadows that have hidden us.  We bring our whole heart and vulnerability out into the open....without any bravado or embarrassment.  We stand as we are.  We stand in our beauty.

(Now perhaps this has a more feminine bent to it.  Sorry, guys!  Maybe substitute the word "beauty" with "strength"...)

Some have said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I say beauty is everywhere, but we must have the eyes to see it!  Oh, how I wish others could see the beauty I see in them!  Oh that we could learn to live with and in that beauty and then see it in others!  Oh, that we would call forth beauty out of each person!

(I wrote the following a couple of years ago....obviously thinking about this topic...and though I use the "she" and "he" pronouns, I don't think we are stuck with that.  The pronouns are exchangeable and interchangeable!)

Beauty is elusive.
She is a timid little soul…reticent to come out of her safe places.
She is a creature that takes time to draw out from her carefully constructed enclosures and fear filled anxieties.
She does not come out into a clearing too quickly,
Nor does she respond to impatience or quick movements.
The one who would wish to see beauty must sit repetitively and quietly.
He must risk extending a hand to her- into her darkness – knowing he will be bitten.
He must be willing to bear the scars of beauty’s teeth and not pull back into his own hurt.
His gaze focuses kindly upon eyes that stare back at him through the dark undergrowth – in fear, distrust, and self-protection.
This one must speak in hushed tones
with gentle but strong words.
Because beauty knows falseness and withdraws from it.
So this beauty whisperer must always speak truth but within the cadence of love.
For beauty is afraid to come out into the open
-she is afraid of others
-she is afraid of laughter
-she is afraid of being crushed
-but most of all she is afraid of herself
of her strength, passion, and blinding brilliance
Beauty finds it easier to hide and live in shadows because there she does not need to come face to face with her glory!
And the one who would call beauty out must also not be afraid of that glory or her power.
Oh no!  He comes with a strength all his own, knowing he will protect her and her strength will become synergistic with his.
THIS is why he is patient
THIS is why he calls
Because he sees her, fully glorious, though she hides,
And knows he is made complete with her emerging.

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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