Have you ever heard about beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Me, yes. Countless times already and being the pessimist in me, I would usually ponder on to that fact a couple of times.
How can I suppose to do that?
And then, something happened a couple of years ago which helped me understand the true meaning of beauty.
As cliche as this may seem, beauty is actually everywhere. Try to look at the beauty of the children playing, the birds chirping, the old ones walking hand-in-hand, the majestic beauty of the mountains, the glory of the sun, and even the beauty of sadness and sickness.
Yes, even the beauty of heart-breaking situations.
It was a cold and gloomy Thursday morning when my Mother seated on her bed upon waking up, her head bows, and her fists are clenching. Being the wonder woman that she is, I find it very unusual since right after she wakes up, she would immediately go to our kitchen, make coffee, and sing songs.
Clearly, something is so wrong, I said to myself. I was about to ask her what’s wrong when she said to take her to the hospital.
And then I just told myself, “Okay Pia, the thing that you’re scared of, is now happening. Be strong.”
I immediately asked for the help of her Boss and off we went to the hospital. As we were heading to the hospital, I saw her tired eyes closed, her skin is so dry, and her body is very weak. But what I don’t understand is I am at peace.
I am happy that I can control my emotions and felt so strong and alive.
SEE THE BEAUTY IN EVERY SITUATION YOU’RE IN
I am happy to see the beauty of our situation. Happy, not because of my Mom’s sickness, but happy because I finally understood the meaning of beauty. That everything is just an issue of the heart.
I know that this is harder than it sounds. Actually, it is hard. Juggling work and being in the hospital before and after work and even sacrificing work is not easy. But I just realized that I feel so alive, and happy and responsible.
I started seeing the beauty with everything I do for Mother, for myself, and for the people around me. Even walking a long road because we are saving for her medications and operation makes me smile too! You may be thinking I’m going crazy, but that is what I feel.
Life can be full of hatred, envy, sickness, poverty, war, and chaos here in this world, but I believe that if we can actively see beauty in each and every little thing that we do, we can help build a better world to live in.
I know that I haven’t perfected and will never be perfect in seeing beauty in everything, but at least I know that I am trying real hard to find beauty in everything that comes my way.
As Philippians 4:6-7 says:
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
HOW TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE BEAUTY
I have been a sucker for this for a very long period of time. Just like you, I always have that eagerness to just find beauty in everything; to appreciate even the ugliest situation I’m at, or even control my emotions over people who’s been doing me wrong and still see the good in them.
1. See things differently, beautifully
I know we all have that I’m-so-bored moment in our lives where we think that we are just in an autopilot stage, and nothing gets better in everything we do, and everywhere we are, even though we feel like we are striving to be out of that era.
However, what I realized is that we actually don’t have boring days and nights. Yes! If only we appreciate the book you’re reading or the coffee that you’re drinking, or the person you are with now (that you feel boring too!), you will never get bored and will simply appreciate things differently – full of love and beauty.
We are surrounded with beauty, with everyday miracles, and finally, with never ending hope. We just don’t recognize them because of powerful mixed with emotional thoughts that we forget to appreciate this grace upon grace miracles in life.
2. Practice to appreciate small things
Due to the high technological advancement in our generation, we sometimes forget to appreciate the small things in life.
We forget how God gives us grace every day to wake up alive, we forget to appreciate the food on the table, the house we have, the friends who take time to ask how you are, your household help who prepares breakfast every morning.
And the list goes on and on and on. Let’s try to appreciate small things.
3. Never forget to smile
I feel like I have been keen to frowning lately, even if I am not upset. And I just realized that it indeed has a negative vibe not just to myself, but to people around me as well.
So, always, always smile. If you saw your not-so-close officemate down the road, smile. If you appreciate something, smile. There is always, always something to be thankful for.
4. Live intimately with life
Yes, you read that right.
When was the last time you actually try to appreciate the ground that you are stepping in? When was the last time you breath deeply and feel the air in your lungs? When was the last time you smelled the aroma of your coffee or tea?
Live intimately with life and who knows, you might discover or rediscover something in yourself.
5. Disconnect to the online community
I personally want to do this every week. Once in a week, why not try to disconnect yourself from all social networking sites? Sometimes, people tend to fetch hard emotions over the internet. Some rants, problems, and even online envy can lead to feeling down even if you’re not.
Disconnect yourself from the online community and see the real beauty outside the world.
Travel with friends, cook dinner with your family, connect to the real community — the outside world and you’d be amazed how this can change your mindset about beauty.
6. Evaluate and change your perspective in life
Sometimes, our perspectives hinder us to see the beauty of life. If not evaluated well as soon as possible, these sometimes make us a pessimistic person.
Here, we have to focus on the lesson, not the problem or the issue.
I remember searching (and saving!) for an expensive camera for my travels and for giving my photos a professional look. However, because we need to save for our house in Cavite, this dream of mine suddenly became a burden. I know I could never buy this camera anytime soon which indeed affects me. I know God knew how I love to have this camera. But what I realized is that I need not a very expensive professional camera. I just need a great smartphone for my everyday use! It is when I found Huawei P9.
What I love the most is its camera is co-engineered with Leica making it as the ultimate camera-phone! It has dual lenses that produce high quality photos and allow users to take amazing monochrome, slo-mo, colored, light painting photos among others.
What I learned here is that I can always share my thoughts, my travels, even without this expensive cameras and whatnot.
7. Know the real meaning of beauty in Jesus Christ
Oftentimes, we forget that we are made for a purpose. We just go with the flow. Wait for that perfect moment, perfect peace but only to end up being frustrated and disappointed. We forget that there is Someone out there who loves us so much, who never stops in pursuing us. I mentioned earlier that I was at peace during those trying times.
What I realized now was clearly, Someone was embracing every peace of my struggling heart during those times. He is holding me together, keeping me sane and strong and that is Jesus Christ. If you are reading this, know that perfect beauty is only found in Him and in Him alone.
Everything is easily said than done. It’s true. Eat together with your family, go out on a Saturday with friends, take a coffee break in an artsy fartsy coffee shop, read your favorite book, and take pictures of these moments. All of these might sound enticing and inspiring, but then again, the bottom line is we should all slow down and just enjoy life to the fullest. But this time, with God.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Beauty is never just about the physical appearance.
It is about your heart, your thoughts, and your perspective in life.
I am just so happy to say that, I may not be perfect in seeing beauty in everything and in everyone, but what I know is that this serves as a reminder to me and to everyone who’s reading this to appreciate yourself, see things beautifully, be passionate about something, change your perspective and always be thankful to God everyday, no matter what situation you are in.
As Wayne Dyer says, “change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” Beauty is everywhere all around us, we just have to open our eyes to see.
**Written last August 2016. Updated July 8, 2017**
In love with coffee dates, mountains, and beaches. Currently in the season and process of unlearning, relearning, and learning together with God.