A Skillful Reflection: Finding Beauty

Sometimes the bad habit of looking at the negative or ugly things in life becomes so ingrained that we forget to look at the beauty.

Frequently, complaining is an expression of frustration with life’s obstacles. We complain about our bosses, friends and relatives. We complain about finances. Or, we become exasperated with the status quo. “Life is not fair” is something I hear often.

Complaints often result when we fail to recognize that we have more choices than we are willing or able to consider. Perhaps the biggest obstacle in our path is our tendency to feel victimized or deficient in some way. And we put so much energy into maintaining the victim/deficient mindset that we lose sight of the alternatives, which are often staring us right in the face. It’s like looking only at the mud and failing to see the beautiful lotus growing out of it.

Every day, we see examples of people who are impoverished in some manner but who seem content and whose lives are filled with beauty; whereas, others wallow in their condition and are more affected by their circumstances. If it is true that we create our own reality, we can avoid or transcend life’s impediments. Sadly, we do not always do this. Our shared empathy for society’s downtrodden frequently morphs into pity, blinding us to the wisdom and power of contentment.

The key is first to do some self-reflection; to look in the mirror, accept your situation and search for opportunities to be yourself more completely. Make the effort. Do not assume you are handcuffed because there are numerous barriers in your way. Follow the example of others who have also been in challenging situations, yet who managed to find balance, happiness and peace. Crises offer us golden moments for growth and development. Sometimes they are the mud that brings sustenance to a beautiful flower.

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