Daily Beauty, Day #19: Inner Beauty
In these posts, I’ve talked a lot about looking for beauty in unexpected places around us. But I think there is another place I haven’t yet mentioned where we often overlook beauty.
When we see beauty, or the appearance of it, we tend to regard it in relation to our selves. We may recognize and appreciate beauty in others, but offer praise only through self-deprecation. We may view beauty as some sort of scale, on which other beautiful things only lower our own rank in the hierarchy. She’s pretty becomes she’s prettier than me. He’s good devolves into he’s better than me. Kind acts are elevated above our personal failures to meet the same standards. In short, there is the danger that everything beautiful will become defined by its superiority to our own inferiorities.
This, I think, neglects the key element of beauty: that it is intrinsically beautiful. Its beauty does not rely on anything else. The way we see the world may colour our own interpretations and perceptions, but beauty itself does not gain beauty by being “better” than its surroundings.
In fact, when we engage in these comparisons, they poison our ability to see beauty. We become so aware of ourselves that we fail to see anything else. Although we look around us, we make everything about our own weaknesses and insecurities. However, beauty in its purest form is detached from all these earthly ties of ego, of worry of failure and fear. True beauty is attached to nothing but its Source. And when we truly appreciate true beauty, we recognize that it is manifested in many different forms, none of which are better than one another.
The beauty we often overlook is the beauty that we find within ourselves. Perhaps it sounds a little sentimental. But I think we need to treat ourselves more gently, to look at ourselves as our selves, without thinking of how we measure up to others. We need to learn to appreciate our uniqueness and the unique seeds of beauty that have been planted within our soul. If we learned to see this beauty and find peace within it, perhaps we would be better able to see all forms of beauty that cross our path, without allowing them to detract from our own immeasurable, incomparable beauty and light.