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We always compare. There's this thing we do, and it's called "comparing our insides to other peoples' outsides". Meaning that we compare and find fault with ourselves. We're comparing what we feel inside to the nice, shiny, spiffed up social mask that someone else is wearing, failing to remember that those people are doing the same thing...that they're feeling insecurities on the inside as well.
Shakespeare said it quite well, I think:
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."We can pretty ourselves up, buy beautiful clothing, use fancy cosmetics, hair styles, hair color....even choose plastic surgery, to change our outward appearance. We can change our name, change our location, reinvent ourselves and try new career paths. It is human nature to want to feel and look our best. We're given this one physical body, this one physical vehicle, after all, so of course we want to feel good in it.
Wouldn't it be dramatic, if, one day we all woke up and found the face and body that greets us in the mirror to be truly beautiful? I think of how my family and friends view me. We all know that through the eyes of love, beauty is always what is beheld. The true test, then, is to shower ourselves with that same love. That's the tricky part, yes?
Loving self. What a concept. And what a difficult objective. I focus on this as a daily goal, loving myself and accepting myself. I also admit to not quite meeting the mark on a regular basis. There is an absolutely breathtaking Scripture that has always brought tears to my eyes on this concept:
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. - Luke 12:27This passage in the Christian Bible is one that I have always found to have such strong, straightforward good sense to it. We spend so much time worrying about those outward trappings, when in reality, we are imperfect and flawed in the most beautiful manner. I have said many times that I find perfection to be rather static and sterile, and that I much prefer that which is unique and flawed. That would describe every Soul walking the earth today...we are all unique and flawed. I think it is those imperfections and quirks that give each of us our own particular brightness.
Do I mean by this post that we should all stop attempting to better ourselves, or stop wishing for more? Absolutely not! Dreams and striving for better is another thing that makes us beautiful. Mankind is meant to evolve. To grow, to smooth off rough edges, to expand, to pursue new experiences. There is, however, valor in standing still and contemplating, for short or long periods of time, just being. Simply that. Like the lilies of the field....just being who we are. Without ornamentation, without artifice, without social masks or anything to detract from the purity of who we really are.
Is this possible to actually do? I think it is. I see myself this way in the eyes of those who love me. I have also been given the gift of seeing myself through the eyes of a stranger (One Wish, Healing Morning, 12/15/2009). I see myself each morning as I meditate and make a conscious effort to be still, be in a quiet moment with myself and God/Universe/Spirit. I see myself clearly in moments of anger where I react in a manner that I am not proud of, and these moments definitely help me polish up those rough edges quickly! I see myself in my work....when I write something that I am happy with and proud of, it gives me a moment of such pure clarity that my Soul simply resonates and sings. I see myself in my hopes and dreams for a better future, both for myself and the people I love, as well as for the world at large.
It is a complex mix, this thing we call the true Self. Countless books have been written on the psychology of it all. We can make it difficult or simple, and on any given day, just existing can be both of those. Yet the commonality is that we are, in essence, energy. Light, housed in a physical form. Always working to find a moment of peace, of happiness, sometimes working so hard at this that we lose sight that it shouldn't be difficult at all!
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The thought that we are everything that we need to be, at this moment, both inside and out, is an arresting one. That which we call the Creator knows this, knew this before we were even born into this physical existence. The disconnect comes from our own minds and thoughts. Pondering this concept for this article has reminded me that it really is very simple. Stop. Breathe. Be still and look within. Quiet your mind, cease everything for a short time, and absorb the fact that at this moment, you truly are imperfectly perfect. You are not lacking. You are not less than anything or anyone. You are all that you should be, right at this moment. In the eyes of others, and on a cosmic level, you are a blinding light of pure energy that is stunning to behold. You are that rose...by any other name. You are that lily, clad in raiment that is unique to you, and as such, you are balanced and in harmony. It is a strong, clear thought to embrace today and everyday in the future.