Beauty is all around, we just have to gain the bravery to look through the world using our eyes. I have not always used my eyes to look into the world, giving away a much needed stability to survive. My criteria for beauty was to inhuman, rigid and impossible to maintain if ever could be achieved. I believed that to be beautiful and loved I must have no body fat, scars, markings. Unfortunately I believed beauty was reflecting a Grecian God, and Americas obsession with youthfulness terrified me of old age. A hyperactive sex life was my response to never being perfect, I wanted to be told I was beautiful. Me and my peers manipulated our way into bedrooms to experience the momentary relief of an orgasm. We live in a culture obsessed with appearances but scared of vulnerability so we are revealing a self we are comfortable with exposing. I do not believe this is true vulnerability, an authentic exposing opens up the heart and reveals the depth of your connection to the world. In that moment when you have slightly exposed yourself and you are waiting on the eyes of the other person to give some response, tell you something about yourself. Being accepted, being received, being held within someone’s grasp is a fire only acceptance can cool. Learning beauty is a predecessor of that acceptance.

We molest our eyes around another persons body, but do not dare to experience their flesh as an extension of ours. Maybe the reason we treat others flesh so disrespectfully and ascetically is because that is the way we treat our own flesh. Denying what we love and ignoring cravings is destroying the beauty of our lives, when you mature and realize beauty is not only physical that heartbreak, lust, shame, trust, disappointment and loneliness all contain beauty. We move a little closer to liberation. That is the beginning of creating a world that does not manipulate little girls into buying products or making men feel inadequate for having a gut.

We must shift our consciousness into the frequency of beauty which will require silence to listen into the causes of our feelings of ugliness. While simultaneously helping us avoid, the very human tragedy, escaping our isolation by the many means we attempt. This escape has kept many men and women away from the beauty of heaven and the love of the divine mother. The other side of healing can terrify us because it’s a new space and often you must journey through hell and temptation. The person you have considered yourself knowing is completely irrevocably changed after this conquest for beauty. The freedom of acceptance had its own fears for me because with acceptance I would be allowing someone to love me again. Which means I am once again opening myself up to being hurt again, but one cannot live a life in isolation and pity without giving up his humanness. Our lives are shaped by our ability to let go of the person you believe yourself to be. How are we to live without the vices of forgetfulness, self negation, suffering with no purpose, and what does it mean to accept our entire being? What destroyed this relationship between soul and body? Can it be capitalism alone or maybe imperialism or even the Eurocentric imposing of beauty on non-blue eyes? The belief you have to look a certain way to be beautiful and if you do not fit in that criteria ugliness is your fate has destroyed countless children and created some untouchable adults. In this culture you learn about yourself by the way people react to your flesh and unfortunately your reaction to those eyes shape your relationship to the beauty within you. You know you’re attractive because the way people react to you and vice versa you know ugliness because of the way people react to you.

The judging of beauty by non-universal, unsentimental eyes is like a bug infesting itself throughout your body paralyzing and crippling you until your entire movement is based off people outside of you. As Audre Lorde says, “When we live outside ourselves, when we live away from those erotic guides then our lives are limited by external and alien forces.” You become invisible and a reflection of what you see in others peoples eyes. Like Dante’s Inferno you are put in a circling hell of eternal torment, maybe in this hell you are forced to stare at a mirror. That pest that has destroyed the adults and is creeping on our children must be stripped away from us creating new standards of viewing the world. It is going to take a high level of maturity and bravery to combat a demon so pervasive and chronic. This need for a new beauty demands a completely new way of being that doesn’t judge from relativity, that has no judgement but understands the universal spiritual and ancestral connection to mankind. We will always have to guess the assumptions of the hour if we are not evolving to a people that can look at the world around them and discover the beauty. I do not believe only the artist can discover this beauty in the world and the self. However I do believe the artist has been the only one brave enough, focused enough and recognized the necessity for this shift in consciousness. Once we make this shift into absolute beauty from the source of the individual we can recognize our arrogance and a new judge will enter our eye. Allowing ourselves to be moved by the presence of everything we encounter.

American cultures’ hyper-focus on physical beauty wouldn’t be a torture if we did not completely devalue, disregard and negate the importance of internal beauty and expressing the emotions of the private life. Which is why so many people live, sleep and die in silence because to reveal your secrets goes against what you were taught to consider strength. People destroy the world, each other and most often themselves for not feeling valued enough to be loved and this countries fear of change produces a attitude of destruction viewing any shift in being, social class, or attitude an attack on what they consider their “way of life”. In this struggle for liberation against mediocrity we must gain comfort of shifting our personality to create a egalitarian future. When I was teaching 4th grade social studies I had a conversation with a little girl about value and jealousy. She told me the reason she is valuable is because she is the president of the class. I asked her if she was not the president would she still have value. We stared at each other and I told her, “Your value does not come from any rewards, positions, or congratulations from the people outside of you.” I have been told by someone I care about that, “I was not shit YET”. I was not worth much because my goals have not been fully manifested, and for a moment I believed that fallacy. Then I remembered those are not my standards of judgement, everything I produce comes out of my intrinsic value of being alive. Our sons and daughters are being groomed to believe their internal value comes from accomplishments in the eyes of other people. Which is reinforcing the belief that our beauty comes from outside of ourselves.

People are beautiful, absolutely lovely, absolutely spontaneous and strange and stressful and funny and awkward. The way friends smile when they haven’t seen you in a long time, the beauty of flirting and giggling at each others awkwardness. We are constantly evolving, creating memories while old experiences fade into the recess of the subconscious. Learning to appreciate the impermanence of our lives can teach us to live deeply in every moment. We poke and grab at our flesh twisting our fat thinking we can rub the weight off or wash away the scars on our face for the sought after angel skin pressed in commercials and every media. This pulling, jerking and yanking not only destroys your relationship to yourself but the person attempting to touch you. The skin you have been taught to despise while simultaneously shaping for someone else eyes provides the keys for your liberation. I remember a time when I was gaining weight and coming into my man body I was a little self conscious about the transition from being an active football player all my life. I was not out of shape nothing was hanging but things were bulging. I was dating a young woman and before sex I went to the bathroom naked to pee and she told me with much erotic energy “damn you fine” and that helped me understand how you can not give yourself fully to someone if you are not satisfied with yourself.

In one’s journey with learning beauty the touch of one’s own hands is essential. I considered myself beautiful if I had eyes staring at me and hands grabbing for my skin. For a time no eyes looked at me containing a smile and no hands reached for my skin. Self- confidence left, words of power would not spill from my mouth, no light would shine from my eyes when I looked in the mirror. I depended on those eyes for balance and a relationship to the world.

I was molested as a boy and again when I turned 18, both times were when I was moving through transformations in my psyche. As most children I had a deep love for the adults in my life, and I remember being very fond of eyes. When I was a child I would sketch eyes on my papers when daydreaming. After the molestation I suddenly was thrown into the knowledge that human beings can be cruel. I had no idea someone within my family would hurt me, and it made me deeply distrustful and fearful of the people around me. Everyone suddenly had the potential to hurt me, so I had to prepare for that pain by not letting anyone get close to me. At 18 with years separating me from the abuse of my past and 4 years into a consistent yoga practice I was learning to give myself to a woman. Then I had my penis grabbed by a man that was supposed to be a mentor and guide. The shock that ran up my spine and came out of my eyes did not release his grip. He held a sacred part of me in his hands and he did not release his grip until he heard someone coming. Suddenly I was a child again with no safety, no protection and powerless. I did not speak about that situation because I believed silence would allow me to move on. I have learned the difference between healthy and unhealthy silence through that experience. This silence prevented me from connecting with someone in every aspect. Hands struck fear in me and I did not know how to be touched by someone that loved me without a slight attempt to keep my guard up to prevent myself from being taken advantage of. I allowed no smile to fool me and no hand to wrap itself around me without preparing to be taken, but understandably I craved being held. Then I met a pair of hands attached to a beautiful body that shined out of a woman with a beautiful mind and she touched me gently with patience and firmness not allowing me to sink underground or float away. I learned in that moment how hands can save you and how kisses can heal scars you do not remember and tears becomes alcohol that stops infections. Those hands taught me to never take the stars for granted because one is never alone with them. Those hands taught me that I am beautiful with or without those hands grabbing me and any hands that caress me must treat me gently. A lot of our actions and our responses to the actions of others are based on what we believe we deserve.

I am Beautiful because I have accepted my history and dedicated myself to defining my fate. Sometimes you need the corroboration of other eyes to help you see a truth that has always been inside you. As we all have experienced, you do not always have those eyes to give you life, and that is when you begin to learn the art of finding beauty. Learning beauty is mystical in that one day you wake up and the sun shines different than it did yesterday. The loneliness of ugliness and insecurity can kill a man, not only physically but making him socially invisible. Without new eyes there will be no more beauty anywhere in the world not the trees, or the sun, and the stars every night will be taken for granted. Beauty is a lens in which we interact with ourselves and the world. I am learning beauty like a baby learning to walk. My eyes swell as I reach for something to hold onto and I take 1 step 2 step then I fall on my butt. I look around for my protectors and I crawl to safety but soon I shall walk with no support and if I stumble I will be able to rise without looking around. No one should let their search for beauty die, keep it alive do not drown beneath the ugliness of other peoples eyes. Learning beauty is not being ashamed of your story, finding glory in the path you’ve walked. Celebrating you are still alive and given the opportunity to love.