The Beauty of Essence

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
We must first love ourselves before seeing the beauty all around us.

Submitted: October 14, 2014

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Submitted: October 14, 2014




It is heart-rending to see people who have no love or respect for themselves and are unaware of any light or beauty in their lives. We have a sacred responsibility to encourage and illuminate all that is inherently good and special in each other. This can have an incredible lifelong effect, especially on children. Sadly, many people do not even suspect that deep behind the veils of anxiety and emptiness, there dwells a beauty of essence.

Tragically, it does seem possible for a person to utterly destroy their sense of inner beauty. Sometimes this is the result of being badly hurt. When we are wounded, we naturally close up. Rather than soft, porous skin growing back over the opening, we grow a shell. Under pressure the retreat will go deeper and the shell only become harder and tougher to crack. How ironic it is that when someone inflicts hurt on us and then departs, we continue inflicting the same hurt on ourselves, over and over again. The ripple of deep hurt continues to bear and beat against the mind.

At some deep unconscious level these people become blind servants of a certain pattern of inner destructiveness. Gradually, they lose sight of beauty and light. It is as though they find themselves pinned in by all the negative and sore wounding of their lives, encircled by the psychological forces they have set loose on themselves. It is a slow and painful task to break free from the wounded circle of one’s own anxiety. When we remain sealed away inside the shell, we are no longer able to hear our own life. Even the voices that really care for us sound like severed echoes. We grow even more deeply lost, unable to hear even the whispers of the heart.

As always, in the world of the mind, recognition is a huge transformative force. Once we recognize how control and self-protection rob life of all vitality and rhythm, we will find ourselves slowly advancing towards the threshold of risk and trust once more.

When we enter into the world of vulnerability, we stand at a precarious threshold. Anything could happen to us. We are brought through such times by grace alone. In the inner work of personal integration, memory offers us the light by which to decipher the hand of providence secretly leading us through these forlorn and desperate landscapes. It is the paradox of spiritual growth that through such bleak journeys we eventually come through a hidden door into a bright field of springtime, which we could never have discovered otherwise. This is the heart of the mystical. It is not about building protective armour; it is, rather, the courage for absolute divestment. Now could be the most important moment in life to steel our courage and enter the risk of change.

The heart of all creativity is the awakening and flowering of individuality. The mystery and magic of being an individual is to live life in response to the deep call within, the call to become who we dreamed to be. This is where true freedom awaits us - the poise of soul at one with a life which honours and engages its creative possibility. There is no other presence in creation that has such potential for freedom as the human self. Yet like seagulls in the unsheltered cold and ferocity of the ocean, we often nest out on the cold ledges of famished extremity and neglect to remember the meadows where flowers await. Naturally, there will be times when truth of heart demands that we live on the ledges, but to remain there resembles an addiction to misery.

To be an individual is to ‘stand out’ from the group or the system and such separation always entails vulnerability. Deep in our nature there is a desire to belong, to fit in. We learn to fit our chosen world with alarming precision and regularity.

Often it takes a huge crisis or trauma to crack the dead shell that has grown ever more solid around us. Painful as that can be, it does resurrect the longing of the neglected soul. It makes a clearance. Again we can see the horizons and feel their attraction. Though we may wince with vulnerability as we taste the exhilaration of freedom, we feel alive!

The awakening of individuality is a continual unfolding of our presence. Individuality is the creative voyage of aloneness in which the gifts and limitations of real presence emerge. The nature of the beginning inevitably holds the rhythm of the future. The secret of individuality is powerfully suggested by the act of birth. We come to the earth in an intensely vulnerable way, for birth is an act of separation. We are cast out into the emptiness as the cord is cut, yet the wound of connection remains open for the visitation of beauty. 

The beauty that emerges from the wounded is a beauty infused with feeling. This is a beauty that has suffered its way through the ache of desolation until the words or music emerged to equal the hunger and desperation at its heart. For instance, compassion is one of the more beautiful presences a person can bring to the world. And most compassion is born from one’s own suffering. When you have felt deep, emotional anguish and hurt, you are able to imagine what the pain of the other is like; their suffering touches you. This is the most decisive and vital threshold in human experience and behaviour. The greatest evil and destruction arises when people are unable to feel compassion.

The beauty of compassion continues to shelter, and save our world.  If that beauty were quenched, there would be nothing between us and the end – darkness which would pour in torrents over us.


© Copyright 2019 Margaret Snowdon. All rights reserved.

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