I don’t remember exactly when it began, but I made a decision at some point to look for the beauty in the world around me, no matter what. As we all have, I’ve had my share of dark times and sadness. I didn’t want to stay mired in that darkness, but rather, honor it, feel what I needed to feel, and then rejoin the positive flow of life. I really believe that we can choose how we react to the not-so-great stuff, and I have found that for me, focusing on the beautiful, the good, helps me to have a much healthier and happier life.
Up above the world so high….beauty in flight. (My trip home from Columbus.)
When I make myself aware of beauty and the good in the world around me, it reminds me that the world is truly a good place, that people are generally good, and that darkness isn’t forever. The sun rises, and light always surfaces from the darkest of nights. I noticed a tendency in myself for my mind to go to the worst possible outcome, to be a ‘gloom-and-doomer’. My mother, for all of her cuteness and joy, had that same thread running through her as well, and I watched her sometimes teeter on the edge of darkness, but she invariably chose to be happy and to make the best of whatever situation she found herself in. She set such a good example for me to follow.
The great thing about looking for beauty around you is that it doesn’t have to be profound- just something that touches your heart and makes you feel. Sometimes beauty is in a sunset or cloud formation. Sometimes it is the sweet look in my husband’s eyes, the feel of my dogs gathered at my feet. It may be a shy student playing with confidence and courage in a lesson, a simple flower in my garden, or a kind word from a stranger. The possibilities are endless.
I hope to always choose happiness, to always seek out beauty in my life. That doesn’t mean I won’t be sad sometimes or that things will always go my way. Nor does it mean that I am ignoring the darkness that is a reality of life. It simply means that I have a compass, an anchor; something to hold onto, and something to guide me back to my core values. It’s something that I have to work on every day, but it’s work that reaps untold benefits. Beauty is always there if we look for it, always waiting for us to open our eyes and our hearts.