I didn't, until I rediscovered this image. It wasn't the shape of my face, the colour of my hair, the size of my body . . . it was the life in my eyes. This is the beauty I've been chasing in others through a camera lens.
Seemingly simple, yet ground-breakingly profound. . . I was the girl who saw beauty within others and all around. Finally, I'm feeling it from within myself after finding this old picture upon my closet shelf. As I instinctively looked upon it, my eyes began to flood with gratitude at the awe-striking joy of life - that was always there. The curtain was lifted . . . my heart could feel and my eyes could see all of the beauty that was making up me. Taking 28 years to thread that curtain might finally be drawn, leaving only the pure light, ease, joy, love and peace within this second, this moment, this hour, this day. . . this life.
It has been so natural for me to see the beauty in the fleeting moments around me. The connections and interactions that ignite the eyes of the lives I've captured, bringing forward inner beauty. It is constant, the beauty outside of me that I see. The soft touch each parent uses to embrace their children, the eyes that sparkle at the sight of their life's deepest love, the wonder and connection received from engaging within surroundings. All of these moments that declare the way we show up in the world, the way we live our lives, the way we interact with the people around us. It has been my life work to capture that impermanent but ever present essence so representative of our authentic beauty. It has been so beyond my reach to see it within myself.
This photo captures such a depth within my young eyes. It is honest, and trusting, and pure, and present . . . and playful, and curious and light . . . that essence has always been inside of me. All that separated me from this wonderful, undeniable beauty was this misconception of myself. Collected beliefs, ideals, standards over the years had piled up blocking my light, faulting my vision from seeing all that I really am.
If the only thing between feeling the most profound happiness (which we came here to experience) was the perceptions of ourselves, then can't we just be, not think or do any other than what we really are? If only we could know our own beauty the way the world does, the way our mothers and fathers do, our dearest friends and loved ones . . . Maybe we can start to believe those constant reminders that tell us how amazing we are. What if we could shift our perspectives from all of our short comings to all of the times where we were there. Immersing ourselves in each moment being all that we are, no matter how that feels, is so much more than enough.
This life is ours to seek joy from, to experience, and to love . . . to rewrite our definition of happiness as it evolves and grows. Let's see ourselves for who we really are, and love that - without condition, so that we can feel ourselves stepping closer to that fulfilling inner peace. Let us find beauty in our heart's essence and allow that to grow. Let's release our grip on the exterior definition of beauty, and get closer to that authentic beauty radiating from within ourselves.
You are beautiful. [If you don't know it I can't wait until you do] :)
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön