You Are Beautiful

Maggie the cat from I Am Phoenix
Maggie the cat from I Am Phoenix

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am Phoenix

(Editor’s note: Not precisely related to QF or religion but something important to remember in recovery. So many of us coming out of high demand religions have such a down negative view of ourselves that it’s worthwhile to sometimes stop an realize we are all beautiful. It’s a message that can never be repeated too often. We need to keep hearing this message as we recover.)

Can you really fully experience being you if you never get outside of yourself?

Do you really know who you are if you’ve never experienced yourself through the eyes of others?

My cat Maggie will never fully experience being Maggie because she has absolutely no clue how beautiful, hilarious, and goofy she is. She hasn’t yet looked in a mirror and said,

Oh. My God. Isn’t my nose the cutest little pink thing evah.

Her cuteness seems wasted on herself. How can she walk around her whole life and never know how much I admire her looks. That little triangular face, those huge inquisitive eyes, the perfection of those plump pink pads on her paws. I can’t fathom how a creature as cute as she is will never know how she looks. I can’t tell her in words. And trust me, I’ve tried to get her to look in a mirror, but of course she has none of that.

So what is the point of a cat being a cat if it will never fully appreciate it? Part of the fun of being attractive is knowing it. Maggie will never know. No cat will ever know. We know. Her beauty is one sided. Exuded by her, but unknown to herself.

I guess Maggie will never really experience this angle of herself unless she gets inside my mind and looks through my eyes.

I often wish I could trade bodies with her for a day. I want to know what it’s like to leap so agile like up the stairs like a panther. Smooth, no pain. Effortless. I want to know what it’s like to have a warm, fur covered body with whiskers. Ha ha. I want to know what it’s like to just be so gosh darn cuddly.

But I won’t know I’m cute when I’m Maggie. I see the cuteness once I’m outside of Maggie’s body and look at her from my own human body. Which makes me wonder… how can you really fully realize yourself unless you look at yourself from the perspectives of every thing else… human, animal, mineral… you come in contact with? How interconnected we all are… how unrealized we are without being everything… we are all one. The real you is everyone and everything.

Realizing that expands the real you and helps you see and understand yourself more clearly.

I think many of us don’t really know ourselves as well as we think. Sometimes we briefly pay attention to our ego, that wily, sneaky fibber, and we briefly think we’re worthless, non attractive, too old,  or no longer exciting. And sometimes it’s someone else who sees us more clearly than we do… sometimes even a stranger can perceive us more accurately than we can ourselves, even for just a brief moment, in passing on the street, when your guard was down, the way you turn your head just so. The way you look in the morning when you’re peaceful and you haven’t had time to think, blurry around the edges. The thoughtful look in your eye that passes momentarily, the texture of your laugh when you think it sounds awful, when it’s actually pure joy. The way your make your coffee just so, that brilliant thought you had before you lost it, and the look of inspiration on your face while the thought was still there. The light in your eyes when you laugh, the beautiful lines on your face, the glow around you when you watch your child sleep. The mischief in your expression when you’re up to no good. The warmth in your expression when you say goodbye.

Even the darkness of your mood when you sink low, or the cold glint of anger that rises to spark when needed. Even your loneliness and melancholy, it has the aching texture of a sad cello, striking and haunting. You don’t have to know the answers or have it all together. You are breathtakingly beautiful. If only you could see what I see of you, you would be overcome with your own beauty.

Even if you don’t believe it. You don’t understand the language I speak, and you don’t “see” when you look in the mirror. Just like Maggie can’t see in the mirror, and she doesn’t understand when I talk to her.

But it’s the truth.

You are… beautiful.

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