What is beauty

That is a very subjective question I hear you say. And you would, of course, be right. What I find beautiful you may find repellent, unsightly, maybe even disturbing.

Let me put something to you. Beauty is not necessarily something we see, touch, taste, smell or hear. In other words, it’s not necessarily something we perceive with our senses, though of course it can be. However, if we rely only on our physical senses to perceive beauty, we risk our perception becoming shallow and we can miss out on so much pleasure in our lives.

Beauty must be something we experience with our souls. It must be something we allow to overwhelm us even if we are not really sure why it moves us the way it does. Hopefully, we have all enjoyed the surge of warmth we feel when someone is kind to us. At that point we have experienced beauty as an action – as a selfless gesture. What about the feel of a warm summer breeze on our skin? Yes, that is a physical sensation but think, for a moment, about exactly how that makes us feel. We gain a sense of contentment and calm. This is beauty reaching deep within us and settling into our core.

There can also be occasions when we are surprised by a feeling of beauty. We see an image that, ostensibly, we should find sinister or disconcerting. However, for reasons we do not understand, our reaction is one of delight. This is beauty at its most enigmatic – proof that we do not really understand what should qualify as beautiful. Perhaps, when we see a sinister image or we hear of something sad or frightening, what we are actually enjoying is our own sense of security. The knowledge that although what we are experiencing is unsettling, we know that we have people in our lives and around us who love us and keep us safe – those to whom we can always return for comfort.

Open your life to the diversity of beauty. There is nothing wrong in going in search of beauty, but we should also allow it to find us.

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