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“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” – Plato

While this saying is very true, I believe that there is beauty everywhere, we only need to look for it. Everyone has their own standard for beauty and everyone’s standard is different than anyone else. Each person walks through life only seeing beauty to their standards. However, if you take the time to look at the world around you and notice it, you can find beauty everywhere. No, it might not be the traditional beauty you would find on TV or in magazines, but there is beauty in everything.

I’m not a traditional beauty by any stretch of the imagination. I’m 5′ 3″ tall, several inches short of what a tradition femme fatale should be. I’m grossly overweight by a large margin, though I’m losing weight, so props to me. (12 pounds in the last 6 months – go me!!) I have short, salt and pepper hair that I really want to dye purple. I’m only waiting for the day I’m no longer working for someone else. I curse, a lot. I prefer it when my hand have paint on them. There is nothing traditional beautiful about me, but my soul is gorgeous.

I love life. I love making art. I put my heart and soul into it. If I’m not creating, I’m the most depressed person you have ever seen. When I am actively creating, I go into a state of pure bliss. It fills up my heart and soul. My artwork becomes the center of my universe. It’s a spiritual awakening each and every time. My whole world is centered around creativity and positivity. I love it and it shows. Ever since I have dedicated my life to those two guiding principles, I have been happier and the people around me have been happier too. I shine with it and that is beautiful.

I used to know a young lady. She was more of a classic beauty. She was 5’7″ tall, 135 lbs. In her youth, she was a model for a time. She fell in love, got pregnant and then got married. She ended up in a decent apartment, with an okay job and a husband with an okay job. It wasn’t a terrible life, but it wasn’t the life she dreamed about as a kid. Her mom and dad bought her what she wanted when she would wine about her husband not being about to afford this or that. She would flirt with younger men, because she thought she could still draw them in, but she never actually tested that theory by cheating on her husband. She thought that she was all that and a box of chocolate donuts, but she was miserable. She continued to be miserable until she died a few years ago, long before her young daughter could finish high school, go to college, fall in love, get married or give her grandkids. She missed out on an amazing life because even though she was a classic beauty in looks, she didn’t take care of that body, plus she missed out on the life she did live, because she didn’t take care of her soul.

I’m look around me at the people who are happy and at people who are miserable. I’ve been trying to figure out what makes them different from each other. I’ve been at this for a while now and I’ve come to some conclusions. The conclusion that I’ve come to about beauty is that the ones who are happy take the time to see the beauty in the world. They take the time to find the beauty in nature, in others, in their life. They don’t depend on the media or others to define beauty for them. They make their own definitions. They do that in a lot of areas of their lives. They learn, grow, adapt. If they find that their definition of beauty changes over time, it’s not a problem. If opposing versions of beauty speak to them, that is fine too. They can and will seek beauty in all things, not only in those things that society says should be beautiful. I think if my friend had stopped trying to make herself fit society’s definition of beauty, and had really figured out what made her happy, she would have been a much happier and more beautiful person.

As for you, my friend, there are many ways that you can find the beauty in yourself and in the world. Take the time to get to know who you are as a person. Figure out what makes you happy, passionate, sad, lonely… But don’t figure those things out and then do or don’t do those things. Figure them out and then figure out the why’s. Why does one activity make you soul sing while another makes you feel like the lowest low? Once you know those things, then you can make informed decisions about your life. Motivation comes from not only wanting to move towards something but also from wanting to move away from something. It’s a push and a pull. Figure out your why. There is beauty in the why!

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