Sometimes, we need the reminder.
“Beauty surrounds us.”
Sometimes, we need the reminder.
“Beauty surrounds us.”
I am feeling quiet inside today.
As if a peacefulness has unrolled its yoga mat inside me and got to work.
It’s a calmness.
It allows me to remember all the sweetness, while acknowledging the scars.
Remember, just because there is darkness inside of you, doesn’t mean that darkness is all you have to offer to the world.
Darkness can teach us.
We grow stronger.
Scars are a sign of strength.
Darkness is a way for us to strengthen.
Aren’t scars kind of beautiful?
There’s also a pain inside my chest.
It keeps speaking up.
I’m okay with it.
The pain isn’t all there is, inside me.
By Daphne Shadows
Something a man said today.
A little story, if you will.
He was driving toward a meeting I attend and noticed that the rain water looked ready to spill over.
Immediately, an immense sadness filled him.
The rain turned to tears in his mind.
This rain, it must spill and soak the earth to bring new change, to grow something wonderful.
Our tears must fall.
We use them to water our lives, to spill this pain, so something magnificent can grow from it.
We cannot grow until we allow ourselves to feel the pain, the sadness, we sometimes feel.
It can change into something poignant, and from there, beauty.
Every life is a collection of stories.
This story feels like it became mine, even as it was his.
We absorb and collaborate, with only the mere telling or hearing of a story. We bind them to our souls and feed them for others to hear, to learn from, to become.
The term “thanksgiving” is defined in most dictionaries as ‘an expression of gratitude’.
Around this time of the year, I get really humbled. There’s this feeling that permeates my day-to-day as I take to heart the meaning of Thanksgiving, in a basic way. As an expression of gratitude.
Because I have a lot to be grateful for.
I have a lot of love, support, and kindness in my life now.
I’m so grateful for change.
The changes in my life that have brought me to the place I am in life. The changes I’ve decided to make on my own. The fact that I, as a human being, do not exist in a fixed or forced state and I can change.
My family. My friends. My job. And family includes my dog.
I think I take a lot of things for granted. Things the homeless people I see every week are suffering from lack of. A place to live. My own bed. Food. Heart and air conditioning. Running water. Electricity. And I have more than that. I have conveniences. A phone. Internet. Music. Cable. Books.
I am overwhelmingly grateful for the few true and unbelievably real friends I have who know what I’m going through and offer me understanding, honestly, love, patience, an ear to bend, and a shoulder to lean on (even through the internet).
My family is such a blessing. I have learned so much from them. I can never number the greatness of experience and support I have gained because of them.
Not to mention that my family and friends have always supported me through my writing endeavors. Even the past year as I haven’t written a single creative word. And I probably went a bit mad because of it.
I have learned so much.
I turned twenty-four recently and though I am a late bloomer in life and wish that I’d been published by now, gained a job sooner, and gathered my health enough to function sooner – I am finding that I’m actually glad what has happened has followed the path and timeline it has.
I cannot thank the kind people in my life enough. It’s a new experience for me, kindness.
I am so ever grateful for love. The impact it can have, if I allow it.
For the opportunities to grow and open my eyes.
For stories. For all the authors who helped me escape into another world.
The spark inside me (or, as Robin Williams put it, the spark of madness) that has always held me firm in the knowledge that I am a writer.
Also, the pain I’ve experienced. I’m not masochistic by any means, but suffering what I have allows the joy in my life now to really mean something beyond the capture of words.
Art in all its various forms. Beauty. Inspiration. Blogging. Chocolate (come on, you saw that one coming). Donuts! Hugs. Real emotion. Books, movies, music, and tv shows that create emotional resonance within me, spark something, ignite something raw. Quotes. Time. Life. Second chances. Earphones. Sweaters. Boots. Pillows. Notebooks.
Men who see women as equal human beings and not sex toys. Women who don’t consider ‘being a man’ to mean jerk behavior, size, lack of emotions, arrogance, coldness, being controlling, or the kind of car he has. I’m glad for equal rights for women.
Those who love their pets and fight for animal rights and against animal abuse.
Did I mention donuts? Thank you donuts, for being so cheap.
I am grateful for the chance to live in this crazy world and create a life of my own, one with meaning. There is so much in my life that I am grateful for. It is so much clearer, easier to see now that I feel I’m beginning to see through my own eyes and feel via my own heart.
I am thankful for hope.
What are you thankful for?
I was critiquing my work in progress, HUMAN OR HIDDEN, a few days ago and surprised myself. I’d forgotten something Blair had thought and found myself smiling when I got to the end of Chapter Fifteen. Her opinion on beauty really struck me, being that she had much more to base it on than most and I figured I’d share it for this post:
“The forest smells of death.” Nathaniel said, stopping me.
I brought my eyes back up to him, away from the trees, away from darkness, away from anger, and couldn’t tell how he felt about what I’d said. He was looking at me but I couldn’t read him. Not that I really tried, I was tired of following signals. If he had something to say, he could bloody well say it. I wasn’t pulling it out of him. He didn’t look ready to burst into flames, so I took that as a good sign.
“I want to follow your scent. It should lead us to the body.” He said.
He was hauntingly beautiful, framed by the darkness, eyes glowing again, unmoving. Vulnerable in a way no other vulnerability could compete with, with no clothes to hide behind. But then again, he’d chosen the vulnerability. It was different when you had no choice. I should know.
There was beauty in the way he held himself as well. But beauty can fool you. Beauty can hurt you, kill you, rip you to pieces from the inside out. Sometimes beauty isn’t beautiful at all.
I stood barefoot and covered in blood before the big bad wolf and wondered if it would be foolish to trust him.
(When Blair refers to ‘what she said’ to Nathaniel, it has nothing to do with a romantic relationship between the two. I say this simply because reading this excerpt on its own, I realized it comes off that way.)
This was one of Blair’s more philosophical insights, as most often her opinion is kill kill kill! (just kidding, but you get the idea). And it made me think about what beauty really means. To me and in popular opinion.
According to Google – a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight.
According to dictionary.reference.com – the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).
Right now in popular media, beauty is defined as physical perfection, which ironically, is very fake. It’s showing us, telling us, that beauty is the mask you put on. But that mask isn’t you. It’s you trying to hide everything you and the world consider “less than perfect”.
I find the meaning of beauty to go much deeper than that. To use a much overused cliché (which I happen to love), I believe the meaning of beauty goes deeper than skin.
Beauty is who you are. What you do to and with yourself and others. How you live your life, your personality, your outlook. The reasoning behind everything you do, say, think, wish, fantasize, and dream.
On the other side, beauty can be used as a mask for a much different reason by a different kind of person. The outside may have a pretty mask, but what happens when the inside is hideous? People have the tendency to meet someone beautiful and want to think of them – and do so – as a good person. A beautiful person. Because how could someone so beautiful be evil?
I read this book a couple months ago, “Skin” by Ted Dekker and it talked a lot about how people perceive others due to their outward appearance. Wendy, the main character, tried to look beyond the superficial to see the real beauty (or lack thereof) in a person and ended up seeing people for who they really were, not the mask of beauty they put up. I loved this book’s outlook because it took another character, the essence of beauty on the outside, and showed us just how ugly she was on the inside. And no one wanted to accept that. Why? Because she was beautiful and she knew it. She used it, hid behind it, and it was her mask.
To me, beauty isn’t only the superficial. Instead, it’s a balance – both inside and out. Who you are balances out with what you look like for me.
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
Never forget that sometimes beautiful people use their looks against you. They get you to perceive them as a beautiful person. And then they hurt you.
Like Blair said, sometimes beauty isn’t beautiful at all.
I’m not saying all people with good looks are horrible people, I’m simply saying we shouldn’t automatically “judge a book by its cover” when it comes to people. Just because someone looks beautiful, doesn’t mean they are. And just because someone isn’t physically attractive in your eyes, doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful on the inside.
Get to know the person behind the mask, behind the skin.
Beauty is not just a visual; it’s the heart of the person. Beauty is in, radiates from within, the soul.
(Excerpt from HUMAN OR HIDDEN Copyright Daphne Shadows. All Rights Reserved.)