We are bombarded with ideas of what is beautiful. There is the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I think beauty is everywhere and in everything. I want to see nothing but beauty. This picture is a great example. In our area, this is a common weed. I do not know it’s name. It is tiny, has very small flowers, and is only noticeable because of the abundance of flowers on each stem. Even then, if I am not looking for it, I will not see it. This picture magnifies the beauty of this plant. I appreciate and admire it. I use to see only weeds even though the weeds bloomed prettily. One summer I took a class called “Summer Flowering Plants.” I took it because it satisfied a science requirement for college and it sounded interesting. I expected it to cover perennials and annuals that I might find in a flower bed. However, it was all about weeds. I am very grateful to this class for introducing me to the beauty I use to ignore or try to remove from my lawns and flower beds. Now, I do my best to introduce these flowers because they are beautiful, native to the area, require none of my time, and return yearly with no interference from me. Weeds know how to take care of themselves and thrive in adversity. They are an inspiration to me. I understand if other people see weeds but I see the beautiful colors and understand their value in my life. I have noticed, in the past couple of years, other people are seeing the value of weeds because I see weeds being sold for use in and used in flower bouquets.
I’ve noticed many people see themselves as weeds. They don’t like themselves because they compare themselves to others. They want to get rid of parts of themselves. They want to change who they are. When we make comparisons we devalue ourselves. We are each so incredibly valuable to the world. We each have a unique light shining inside us. We each have a unique point of view of the world. We each have something to offer the whole that no one else can bring to the picture. We can see ourselves as weeds or as beautiful flowers. We can find our beauty by releasing the comparisons and limiting beliefs we have acquired.
We pick up the idea that we are supposed to be like other people; we are not supposed to shine brightly and be unique. We want to fit in and be like everyone else. I believe we pick up these ideas from people who are afraid of their uniqueness. However, we recognize our uniqueness even when we try to fit in. Some of us recognize it when we see someone different and admire their ability to be themselves. Some of us recognize it when we feel threatened by someone who is living in a way that differs from our own thinking. In both instances, we are seeing our uniqueness reflected back to us. Our reaction is simply pointing to a limiting belief which shows us where our path lies. Do we fight/hate/resist the change or do we embrace the change?
We can see who we are by our reactions to others. If we react in any way, we are showing ourselves where we need to focus within ourselves; we have discovered a limiting belief. People who are secure in themselves have no reaction to situations around them. There are very few people who have no reaction to any situation around them, including people like the Dalai Lama. So, we all have work to do. I use my reactions to teach me about myself. If I react with anger (fear), I ask myself why I am so angry. Do I feel threatened? Do I feel unliked? Do I feel controlled? Regardless of why I’m angry, I know the resolution lies within myself.
If I feel threatened, I must look at why. Is there an actual physical threat to my life? Doubtful. Often I feel threatened because I am unwilling to hear the other person’s point of view. So, I make myself think about their point of view. Where is it valid? What are its merits? Being strong in my singular point of view does not allow me to understand other people or see where my thinking may need readjustment. Only after I can understand the other point of view can I make an intelligent decision about my own point of view. Usually, at this point, I no longer have any anger about their differing point of view even if I still do not agree with them. They are entitled to their point of view and it has no bearing on me nor does it threaten my own point of view.
If I feel unliked, I am simply wanting someone else to recognize me as being important. Interestingly, when I stand in my own happiness, I rarely find someone who does not like me. If I do find someone who dislikes me, I recognize they feel threatened by my uniqueness and want me to change so they don’t have to deal with their feelings. In the past, I tried to live in a way that made other people happy. It never worked. There was always someone who was unhappy and I definitely was unhappy. So, I figure I might as well be happy with myself. When someone else is unhappy, with how I’m living my life, their unhappiness is about them, not me. They must figure it out for themselves.
If someone is trying to control me, that is a button which still gets the strongest reaction from me. I am working on it but I still don’t do well at handling people who try to control me. On the other hand, I am getting to a point where I often start laughing when someone starts trying to control me. Laughter is not a reaction people are use to receiving and it often does not go over very well with the controlling person, which makes me laugh that much harder. I am not sure why I start laughing but, for the life of me, I am unable to stop. If I do react, with something other than laughter, it is usually with anger.
I realize my anger is about being controlled but isn’t that really me just wanting to control the situation? No one can control me without my permission. I think it is better to become like water. Think about how difficult it is to hold water in your hand. It seeps out. It is almost impossible to hold my hands in such a way there are no crevices for the water to seep through. If I can let my emotions be like water then they flow through and out of me. Anger (fear) does not stay with me. When I allow fear to disperse, it is neutralized.
The closer I get to becoming a person who is reactionless to the world around me, the closer I get to being my most beautiful. I love when I see my beauty shining through. I notice it when I no longer react to a situation which use to bother me. I am grateful for these periods of insight. I know I want to help other people recognize their beauty, their gifts, and their uniqueness. I want to support people as they find all the pieces of themselves. I want us all to recognize our beauty and see the beauty in others. When we become our most beautiful selves, we not only beautify the world but we also shine brightly so others can find their beauty.