“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.” – Rainer Maria Milke
On the surface, saying such a thing as “Seek the beauty in everything” seems cheesy, and somewhat not so difficult. The truth is: it is more difficult than it seems. In the worst moments of life, there is a grand beauty to the bad sides, and this rule calls to seek that even in those times. It also calls to seek the beauty in surroundings and in others, regardless of preexisting bias and preferences.
Beauty of the Bad Times
I have spoken to a few people since I came upon this idea: the “negative” emotions we experience in our lives our, themselves, beautiful. Being confused about life, feeling depressed, unrequited love, and all of these other negative things. They’re all just beautiful parts of the lives that we live. Why would we judge them as anything but beautiful, just to harm ourselves in the process? It doesn’t really make sense.
Most people have a hard time connecting with this idea. Yet this rule absolutely cannot be followed without an embrace of such a concept. Seeking the beauty in pain and difficulty is one of the integral parts of this rule.
I came into this realization through a great deal of work on myself, truly. It began as I learned new perspectives on life in therapy and school for substance abuse counseling (a career I previously considered undertaking for my life). As I began practicing Mindfulness on a regular basis, the importance of non-judgement and embracing of the moment eventually led the realization that even the most painful, worst moments of our lives are truly beautiful in their own ways. The further I explored this realization, the more I found it to be true.
Appreciating the Beautiful
Yet this rule cannot stop simply there. This rule also creates a challenge not to take the beauty of the obviously beautiful things for granted. I have been staying at one spot for the greater part of over a month, now. The view at this location is absolutely stunning, and I truly believe that it would be a challenge for anyone to say otherwise. However, this rule urges me to constantly seek the beauty in it. Not take it for granted, even for a moment, but to constantly appreciate it.
As I appreciate this beauty more, I learn more about it. I notice lines and shadows I hadn’t before. From one angle, I see one thing that is obscured by the ridge seen more clearly from another. I notice a hill carved slightly different than the hill next to it. The different colors of rocks dotted throughout the area. With a view of desert badlands, there is an unending maze to follow and become further acquainted with every day. It is beautiful, and this rule challenges me to continue seeking that beauty.
Seeking Beauty Despite Bias
Similarly, there are times where something can be obviously beautiful, but my bias and preference goes against it. For example, I’m not a very big fan of cities. I don’t really like dropping into town for excessively long, and there’s a lot of things I really don’t like about being in town. However, there’s some clearly beautiful things about the cities, despite my preference against them. Each city has its own, unique beauty to it, and within that beauty lies even more beauties. The beauty of a city skyline, in its uniqueness. The beauty of the city’s art and people. I am challenged to seek out this beauty, focus on it, and absolutely not forget it.
Not Just Art, and Visuals : People, Emotions, Abstract, etc.
Taking all of the above, it is important to expand these thoughts to people, perhaps most importantly of all at times. No matter how much someone may appear as an enemy in some way. No matter how much I have some bias against a person. No matter how much any part of me wants to feel negatively towards another person. Despite the worst things I could list about a person, this rule challenges me to find the beauty in them. Appreciate their beauty. Embrace their beauty. Celebrate their beauty. The word “Everything” is not included just to sound absolute in some way. It suggests that everything has a beauty to be found. Everyone has a beauty to be found. This rule tasks me with finding it and celebrating it.
I’ve already touched somewhat on emotions as well, above. Additionally, many other abstract things exist in life, and there are a plethora of further ways this can be taken. Each moment in time has a beauty of its own, for example. A night of sleep has a wonderful beauty. A curiosity confirmed or refuted. These all have amazing beauties, and it is the task of me to find those beauties at all times. Everything.
I finish this post, finally, with pointing to the two quotes that I began this post with. Much could be said about those quotes in the context of the above, and I challenge anyone reading this to consider such.
Perhaps one important thing:
I must also seek the beauty in myself as I seek the beauty in everything else. It is there, indeed. I must seek it regularly, with unending persistence. With such a beauty seen, I will see even more beauties in the world around me than I can otherwise imagine.