Do You See Beauty? - by: Tori Bradford

We live in a beautiful world.  Sure, it’s riddled with evil, greed, hatred, and ugliness…but our world holds so much beauty.  Take a walk outside, lay on a beach, or climb a mountain and you’ll see the beauty I mean.  Our earth is still boasting beauty DESPITE the ugliness that we may see in our day to day lives.  Beauty is primary to everything else. In fact, Stasi Eldredge says “Nature is not primarily functional, it is primarily BEAUTIFUL.”  

Beauty surrounds us, but do we see it?

Do you see the beautiful sun shining on your porch flowers, or do you see the dried and dead plant in the corner that you forgot to water? Do you see the beauty in that early morning moment your child asks you to snuggle with him, or do you see the clock with it’s passing second hand reminding you how long your to-do list is?

Stop and think for a moment…Do you see beauty or do you see deficiency?

 Friends, the way we view our world is a huge window into understanding the way we view ourselves.  

Do you see the beauty you were created to be or do you see something else?

I’ve been in the midst of transformation on this very topic and I’d like to invite you into it with me.

I’ll be honest...for a long time I’ve not seen beauty.  I’ve seen desperation, I’ve seen anger, I’ve seen hate...up until now.  One day, when I was having a particularly stubborn moment about the ugliness I saw, a wise man asked me a very important question.  He asked, “Are you certain that what you are thinking is actually TRUE?” Dumbfounded, I quickly masked my confusion with stubbornness and said a loud “Of course!”.  He paused and then asked, “Are you ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that what you think is true?”.  At this point, I could tell he was patiently waiting for me to realize that I wasn't certain after all.  How could I be?  As he saw me pondering he then asked “Tori, who would you be if it wasn’t true?”.  Wow.  I’m pretty sure I responded something like, “Um, you mean, who would I be if what I have believed my whole life about myself that has literally shaped how I view myself and how I view the world was not true? Uhhhh….” (Insert newly dumbfounded look here!)

What about you? What if what you’ve believed about yourself, the people you love, or the world you live in isn’t actually true? What if the ugliness you’ve been carrying and the perspective you’ve had of the world around you isn’t true? Who could you be if you didn’t believe that? Or better yet, who could you be if you believed that the world IS FILLED with beauty? What if you believed that YOU were filled with beauty? What would your day look like if what IS TRUE is the beauty that surrounds you.  What then?

For me, this simple thought has brought a journey of discovery.  I’ve discovered that I really AM surrounded by beauty.  

  • Beauty in the moments.  
  • Beauty in the simple.  
  • Beauty in the unique.  

Friends, when I choose to see it, beauty surrounds me.  Despite a job with low pay, despite a week full of responsibility and long work hours, despite a broken family, despite the heartbreak, despite whatever you might be facing there is beauty all around waiting to be discovered.

A friend once told me that she has overcome some of her body image insecurities by looking at herself in the same way her 7-year-old daughter looks at her.  She doesn’t see a flabby tummy, or cellulite on her thighs, she sees her awesome mommy playing with her in the pool...and that is true beauty.  

Every moment offers it’s brilliance, so what beauty do you want to discover today?

Julia WoodsComment