Beauty comes in many forms. It is the smile of contentedness that reaches the eyes and consumes the whole face, the first blooms of Spring, a new-born puppy, random acts of kindness that are spurred by the soul, the snuggle of your child, a photograph that captures something that connects to your soul and leaves you looking at things differently than you had before, the tears that are shed for someone else’s pain.
When it comes to beauty, I have so much in my life that qualifies. I believe that I have beauty within me. I try to share that beauty as much as I can through my actions, photographs, writing, beliefs. Sometimes, it is hard to see the beauty around me, or in me, when I am overwhelmed by the less than perfect world we live in, but I have read that there is beauty in that, as well.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines beauty this way:
: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : loveliness
: a beautiful person or thing; especially : a beautiful woman
: a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
: a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance <that mistake was a beauty>
My personal favorite is the first definition: “pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” In today’s society, I believe we have put way too much significance on visual beauty, especially of people. I have met many visually beautiful people who were a cesspool of yuck inside. I have also met quite a few visually beautiful people who were as beautiful inside as they were outside, and I have to admit these people were the ones I definitely wanted to know better. It always feels as if these humans with the inner and outer beauty hold some magical key to life. Yes, my perception, I know, but that is how it registers in my brain, and I find myself envious. It’s not that I find myself ugly on the outside. I will never be a super model or hold the attention of many by my looks alone, but I am not ugly. Average? It has such an ugly (ha!) connotation attached to it, one that says ‘nothing special,’ and I’ll admit I used to take offense to it. I have grown up, re-prioritized my values along the way, and have come to the realization that being physically average is a pretty good spot to be in. True beauty comes from within and if you allow the physical attributes to deter you from getting to know someone then you have missed out on something important.
I believe that one should be more focused on cultivating an inner beauty than on attempting to achieve or maintain outer beauty. I think when one finds more meaning in their inner beauty it radiates outward to captivate all. The most satisfying part of developing an inner beauty is having the ability to know who you are and find nothing lacking. I find that inside me, at times, and maybe that’s exactly how it is supposed to be. It develops throughout life, growing as we find the beauty within ourselves and others and apply it to what we put forth into the world.