I have this theory. It's not very original, I admit, but it's a theory I'm passionate about...so I'm writing about it anyways.
It is this: that everyone has something beautiful to put out there, some way of making their mark in the world, some way of making it a little better.
(...Whether we actually DO put our own pieces of "beautiful" out there, of course, is an entirely different story...)
I realized this again as I made my Spring Cleaning list. I was so excited to think up things to do, and get them down on paper. My house was going to be so clean! I spent ages making the title pretty and laying out the list of possibilities.
And then? I was done with it. Like, sooo over this Spring Cleaning thing. Barf.
Because you know what? I add my beautiful mark in the planning, in the dreaming, and in the finishing touches. Those things are ways that I put my own version of lovely out there. Carrying it out? The nitty gritty? Not my forte.
But I have
I am convinced that everyone has this innate desire to create, and appreciate, their own kind of beauty...something they are drawn to, in particular, some way that they make magic happen. I see it in everyone that I know! And, well, I don't know EVERYONE, EVER...but I am pretty sure that the ones I do know are a decent little cross-section. Therefore, I stand by my belief that everyone has their unique way of being, seeing, creating, and appreciating beautiful.
I have this one friend who can create these beautiful friendships out of nowhere! She is brave, and outgoing, and seemingly immune to any self-conscious hesitations when it comes to making connections with other people. She can bring the most random assortment of personalities together, coaxing even the most reluctant to enjoy themselves at social gatherings. Some of my favourite people I have met because of our common friendship with her.
I have this other friend who has a keen eye for fashion. She takes risks that always seem to pay off in a beautiful way. And, geez, it's not even vanity! She appreciates clothing, but doesn't attach someone's innate value to the way they dress, including herself. Amazing, right? She has such an incredible eye for a well-balanced outfit, adding her strokes of creative beauty to the world with her own combination of fabrics, fits, and styles.
And then there's this one who can BAKE. She seems to have this understanding of her ingredients that is totally lost on me. She creates masterpieces...to the eye, and to the mouth. Masterpieces IN my mouth. Gaah....I'm drooling.
There's the one who plays music beautifully...and yet another who creates beautiful music. There's the one who adds beauty with this incredible ability to listen with her whole countenance and heart...and one who is so beautifully confident in herself that she inspires me to be kind to myself, too.
There's the one who seems to effortlessly understand the plight of every misunderstood teenager, the one who makes me catch my breath when I watch her dance, the one who is fiercely passionate about EVERYTHING, and the one who seems to always perfectly time a hug.
There's the one who I can count on to pay attention to the details, the one who wears his heart on his sleeve and allows me the relief of doing the same. The one who seems to intuitively "get" parenting with remarkable insight and self-control, the one who thoroughly understands the mechanics and art of taking a stunning photograph, the one who can say it exactly the way I need to hear it, and the one who seems to be an unflappably resilient pillar of strength to those around her.
There's the one that can skillfully wield makeup brushes and colours to enhance and amaze. There's the one that is this gifted emotional cheerleader, encouraging and excited. There's the one who adds to my understanding with his depth of intellect and thoughtful philosophies. The one who can take on a character in a play with such fervour and talent that I feel like I'm a part of something special when I watch her act.
We're not radiating one kind of beautiful, either, y'know. Sometimes we're a little bit of lots of things.
Like a BEAUTY SALAD. Awesome.
It's so hard to remember that, though...isn't it? About ourselves? About others, even?
I think of times past when I've looked down my nose at those who are sssOOOooo consumed with something I didn't quite understand, making jokes about how that's TOTALLY not me, intentionally making it sound like a silly investment of my time...and all because I just didn't get it yet. I didn't get that making a beautiful birthday party full of tender details is someone's THING! That's their beautiful thing! Someone's mad skills with hair is their THING! Their beautiful thing. I must be careful not to discredit someone else's way of contributing their light, no matter how much it may confuse me at the moment.
And alternately, when someone fails to appreciate my own way of beautifying my world...or forgets to appreciate someone else's, I need to give them the beauty of understanding that they maybe don't "get" that kind of lovely just yet. And that it's okay. There are so many different beautiful things to appreciate, as many as there are people. It takes time to learn them.
The idea that everyone has something beautiful to offer may not be a new concept, but it IS one that seems to be so difficult to hold onto... especially in a world where we have to go through things that are heavy and hard and not even a little bit pretty. I think we need reminding every once in a while.
Maybe today, think about someone you don't really understand and try to see their beautiful that is aching to get out...and also, maybe, allow yourself at least one fearless moment where you unleash something lovely on the world that is all your own, your own beautiful gift to add.
You beautiful people.