Every person living or dead has, for a time, passively focused on the despairing, unhappy, and downtrodden aspects of their existence; the feelings of failure, purposelessness, loneliness, and stagnation has disconnected us from the totality of our existence. Recognizing beauty is an active pursuit, an allowance, by ourselves, to become, and move outside the rigid notions of safety and progress. We move, patiently and timely, into a love for spontaneity, and develop the faith to create our lives from the materials presented before us.
“Beauty isn’t all about just nice loveliness, like. Beauty is about more rounded, substantial becoming. So I think beauty in that sense is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding”-John O’Donahue
Life forces everyone through a cycle of constantly making sense out of nonsense, and transforming the pleasure and pain of our lives into a purposeful pursuit of our highest good, for that moment. However, in the moments of pain we have a tendency to overlook the pockets of beauty contained in our lives, and the flowers resting in the fire pass our notice. Our perceptiveness and sensibility must grow in recognizing the beauty contained behind all our pain. We become acquainted with beauty through becoming patient, and learning everything in nature grows on its own time. The pain of overcoming cannot be overstated or romanticized; slaying our dragons is a journey that demands our entire being and attention. However, the defeat of these fire breathing reptiloids does not bring an appreciation of beauty, it is during the succumbing and sublimation that we recognize the joy in overcoming ourselves. We can then sleep knowing we gave life the best fight possible; beauty becomes a deepening appreciation of stillness, solitude, and silence. We can then wake with the urgency to try life again, knowing the dragon has rebirth itself into another form.
When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.”
― John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace
The feeling of stagnation is an emotion signal of a need for a new landscape; the mundane routine of modern life creates a boredom through seeing the same trees, building, highways, gas stations, and over priced coffee shops day in and day out. We are in need of a milieu therapy, a new relationship to our current environment to transcend the monotonous. The world becomes blue when meditating outside, and the world is upside down when we rest on our heads; we have to switch up the way we live our lives. Beauty is the act of seeing the world afresh, and opening ourselves up to new possibilities and thoughts; instead of the placid regurgitation of customary ideas, we allow ourselves to not the subtle pockets of beauty within our environment. Our minds can change quicker than the emotions of Greek Gods, beauty is a commitment to the present and not a reliance on fantasies. Our minds can go immediately from the ideal to the disastrous, so neither are reliable approaches to the world. Both are creating a wall between us and a true appreciation of our lives; the delusional pursuit of trivial activities furthers the distance, but the confrontation with the root of the problem allows us to journey deeper into the self. We will buy ever shoe, reorganize our entire rooms, develop elaborate routines, take a different route to work, and liven up our clothes in order to avoid confronting the route of our troubles. The dismal illusionary evasions are the bulwark for an authentic transformation; our active pursuit of beauty is the path to deepen our relationship to the world, following our internal voice can keep our internal complex of emotions intune with a sense of divine purpose.
“But I do think, though, that it’s not just a matter of the outer presence of the landscape. I mean, the dawn goes up and the twilight comes, even in the most roughest inner-city place. And I think that connecting to the elemental can be a way of coming into rhythm with the universe. And I do think that there is a way in which the outer presence, even through memory or imagination, can be brought inward as a sustaining thing.
I mean, I think that — and it’s the question of beauty, I mean, you’re asking, essentially — as we are speaking, that there are individuals holding out on frontlines, holding the humane tissue alive in areas of ultimate barbarity, where things are visible that the human eye should never see. And they’re able to sustain it because there is in them some kind of sense of beauty that knows the horizon that we are really called to in some way.” — John O’Donohue
Sadness weighs on our chest and anxiety attacks are rampantly consuming our emotions demanding a repression like a dam unable to hide any longer. Confronting the present reveals our loneliness, but also contains the tools necessary to heal our aching hearts; we do so much to numb the confrontation of these emotions. Because we are afraid of all the hate buried beneath the pain, we run from ourselves and numb the pain. Because the past is no longer here, we fantasize over it; sitting in idealistic projections of the past and future creates a continuous cycle of anxiety and fear. We have to learn, with everything contained in our being, how to be alone; we are forced to learn how to release fear, doubt, rage, hate, anxiety, contempt, and release it all like we have taken a spiritual laxative. Our only other options is the slow withering into a shell of self-debasement, pity, and sadness; devoting ourselves to becoming is choosing life and grab onto it everyday passionately participating in activities that bring us closer to ourselves.
We reject all the obstacles, and tribulations that create the hero by rejecting life, and deny our destined role in elevating the traditions left for us by the ancestors. This elevation is not imitation, but an appreciation of the lives they lead, and actively using their wisdom to create insight that aligns with the problems and tribulation of our time. The hero that transcend his demons until they once again question his strength releases a cathartic outcry to end the day, and this is the purification of ceasing to live by idealistic fantasies; committed to developing a disposition of excitement of tackling obstacle after obstacle. Acknowledging there will always be other dragons, and no one has ever been able to get rid of bad times forever. Beauty is a commitment to recognize and appreciate the present, and when they demons enter of present, we must answer by defeating them. Only through an acceptance of dealing with the present beauty becomes freedom.
“I just want to live. I just want to live.” — Antonio Mcdonald