It’s summer, and if there is one thing we know about summer it’s that beauty seems to be everywhere.
Summer is nature’s ode to the energy that has been put in through the rains of spring. Everything in life blooms with possibilities. We are able to relax and take hold for a period of time and allow nature to do its work until everything is ready for the harvest.
But not everyone sees beauty in a flower. Beauty has a peculiar quality of presenting itself as a different thing for everyone. The question really is not is it there, but where is it for you?
Sometimes we get all twisted up about beauty in this materialistic world of ours. We think that beauty has to do with following what might be happening on the runways in Paris or Milan, but it doesn’t. Or maybe we think that it has something to do with fine art and the search for the next Picasso.
And so we shrug it off. Many choose instead to pride themselves in what I would call “unbeauty”, and in making sure that no part of their world can be associated with beauty in any way. Somewhere along the line there has been a mistaken belief that the appreciation of beauty is nothing short of shallowness. For some there can be a fear of beauty, which is unfortunate because beauty is truly a reflection of Spirit made manifest.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, who greatly influenced our founder Ernest Holmes, wrote “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”
Real beauty emerges when people reveal themselves for their true nature. Beauty is a natural by-product of our eternal nature. When we create something that is beautiful, the soul sings in response. It has to do with an internal honesty.
Use fashion as an example. Fashion experts always say people should wear what suits them. The reason is that there is a relationship that exists between the soul of the wearer and the clothing. Without that relationship, there is something that rings false. But it isn’t that the beauty of the clothing isn’t there, it’s that the clothing itself doesn’t have beauty until it interacts with its environment – the wearer.
Another example is the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. His philosophy was that his role was not to impose a structure on the world, but to work in tandem with the space nature provided. Beauty is a conversation then between Spirit and the individual, and it comes to light when others witness that conversation.
There is a difference then between beauty that comes from the inside out, and beauty that is imposed. We know this intuitively, even though we often get mixed up. And when we get mixed up, we fear that people will think we’re faking it. We become immersed in the ugly – mired in our critical thinking for fear of being thought of as a Pollyanna.
How we perceive the world is telling as well. Some people can look at dogs and only see beauty. It’s because they love dogs. No matter what the breed, there is something to love.
One of my daily practices is to spend time outside in my backyard. I love it because there are tall Ponderosa trees all around, and trust me I know not everyone feels that way about Ponderosa. But for me, all I see is beauty. It’s absolutely perfect.
It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and that is precisely what makes beauty a divine revelation of our God-self. When we become conscious of what we perceive as beauty in our world, it brings us closer to that experience. It makes Spirit real in our lives – as it always is.
So today, practice looking for beauty. See what the world tells you about beauty. Embrace beauty on your terms. Wander the streets of your city and instead of criticizing the garbage on the sidewalk, use your vision to see the beauty that is already there. You might be surprised as to what you find.