I see beauty everywhere.
I notice it in the soft golden light of a sunset when we are driving home from a family destination. I always make such a fuss that my husband has learned to indulge with a quick stop on the side of the road, so I can fawn over the sun streaks before snapping a half dozen photos for my memory card and my memory bank.
I notice it in the sleepy look that my babies give me when they wake up for the third time in the middle of the night. I see it in the skin of a snake that scared the bejeebers out of me when strolling through our front yard. I see it in the flower popping up from the soil. I see it in the green tops of trees and the dirty crooks of babies necks.
I am a beauty chaser, and I see it in everything.
That hasn’t always been the case though.
Around six years ago, I went through a very dark time. Friendships fell apart around me, my career at the time was draining me daily, and I could feel my heart growing heavy with sadness as I crossed off the days on my calender. Do you know that feeling? When your chest feels full and it takes effort to simply breathe, and the days go by slower then you ever remembered? During that time, I lost my ability to see beauty at all.
I had been married for four years at that point, we had a two year old gorgeous and bright little boy, but I couldn’t really see all my blessings because I was too busy feeling sorry for myself.
I can remember the exact moment when I realized I was tired of my heavy heart, thoughts and breathing. I wanted to look on the bright side, and yet, I didn’t even know where to begin looking for the silver lining clouds when all I could see was the storm brewing all around me.
With every life change though, you just need to take one step in the right direction and things slowly, very slowly, begin to change.
That is what I did.
I can still picture the terribly discouraged girl who was on the brink of a big break down. She sat on the side of her bed in a darkened bedroom one evening. The light streaming in from the street lights shone down on the blank sheet of paper in front of her.
Armed with a pen, she wrote at the top of the page, “Things I have been blessed with”…
…and then she stopped writing for a very long time.
She wanted to be profound but instead she started off by simply writing, “I have been blessed with hands that can write and hands that can love.”
It was simple, but it was a start.
She only wrote down a few lines that night, because in that time of sadness there were few things in her life that looked like blessings to her. She folded the paper up and hid it in her underwear drawer at first, eventually it got up graded to a small space in her wallet and she began adding to it when she was on her break at work and when her eyes spotted anything positive.
To her complete astonishment, she ended up filling every line on that little bit of paper. It took a week or two, and some soul searching, but she did it. She actually smiled when she flipped that paper over one day and realized she had noticed enough blessings to fill the back of the page as well. The neatly folded, lined piece of paper, ended up looking like a rainbow with its lines of blue ink and black ink and even crayon scribbles; “I have seen a sunrise with nothing but peace in my heart.” was scribbled with blue ink and underneath in green, waxy, crayola crayon she wrote, “My son looks at me like I am the only one that matters, his love is unconditional and I am undeserving but very much grateful.”
I found that piece of neatly folded paper this week. It has lived in each wallet I have had over the past six years. It goes everywhere with me. I had forgotten about it though. Even the words that were everything to me when I scribbled them down. I had forgotten. I have even forgotten about the part of me that was once so sad.
Today, I see beauty everywhere, not because it has always been easy to do, but because it is the right thing to do. I see beauty in the woman at the grocery store who is completely frazzled, who doesn’t realize her crying baby will not always be ferociously hungry like he is, I see beauty in the fact that that exhausted mama is the only one that can meet that little persons needs. I see beauty when the sun hits the dog foot prints all over my hardwood floors, because I know my kids and that big-ole-shedding-dog ran and laughed for an hour outside in the spring breeze today. I see beauty in the nail polish spill all over the top of my lap top tonight, because I can picture my daughter holding her little brothers hands tightly in hers as she painted his tiny nails hot pink while sweetly serenading him earlier today. I see beauty in the tired face that lives in the mirror at the end of a long day of outdoor spring cleaning, because she is still there, looking back at me, with a healthy heart and a soul that searches out beauty in the moments that may have been overlooked.
Beauty is everywhere. It is true. We just need to look up from ourselves, maybe make a list in black and white and green crayon, and we will see it.
Wishing you a lined paper full of rainbow colours for your wallet too. xoxo