Beauty Is Waiting To Be Found

In honor of Memorial Day:

The beauty of the human heart can transcend any circumstance.

My Uncle George was 17 years old when he was stationed in Saipan, Japan during World War II.  He wanted to serve his country so badly that he lied about his age and said that he was 18.  I’ll never know what he experienced in the war because he never talked to me about it.  But my aunt did tell me this.  When he was dying of lung cancer in his late seventies, he asked her to keep one thing after he passed.  At first I thought she was going to say his beloved boat or favorite hunting rifle or even his well worn truck, but no, it was a present that he’d received during the war, a gift that was very precious to him.

This really surprised me.  Since he never talked about the war, I assumed that he wouldn’t want any reminders.  Then she showed me the gift.  It was a very ordinary looking silver ring.  “Your uncle was stationed in Saipan to guard Japanese prisoners of war,” she said. “There was a young prisoner there, about his age, and they got to know one another.  They were just a couple of kids out on an Island in the middle of nowhere.”

She paused for a moment and looked down at the ring. She slowly rubbed it with her thumb.   When she looked up again there were tears in her eyes. Then she cleared her throat and continued.  “In those days fifty cent pieces were real silver and sometimes people made them into rings.  This Japanese prisoner offered to make one for your uncle so George got him a fifty cent piece.  When the war ended they went their separate ways and never heard from one another again.  But your uncle wore that ring for over 60 years.”

We sat quietly together for a very long time, staring at the ring.  Somehow it didn’t look so ordinary anymore.

–Holly

Giving Ourselves Moments of Beauty

Sometimes we need to tune out the negativity and tune into beauty.

Whether that’s looking into the eyes of a child to see their innocence and wonder, or noticing the wind gently swaying through the branches of a tree, or smelling the sweet scent of spring flowers, it’s important to give ourselves moments of beauty.  These moments create balance and when we’re in balance, everything in life is easier to handle.

So often we think that we need to attack a problem or charge ahead 100 miles per hour when in fact we’d be far more productive if we paused for a moment to take in something beautiful.  Beauty touches our soul and when our soul is touched the answers we need come almost effortlessly – including answers that we don’t even know that we’re looking for, but our soul knows.

–Holly

You Are Magnificent

It’s all too easy in life to miss the forest for the trees, especially when we’ve made a lot of mistakes.

This piece was inspired by a dear group of personal growth students who were having a difficult time seeing themselves clearly.  I wrote two versions, one for the women and one for the men.  I hope it helps you to see yourself more clearly too.

–Holly

I want to tell you about a woman that I know:

She has faced devastating situations that have brought her to her knees.  Yet she has always stood back up again.  Sometimes it took her weeks or months; other times it took years – but she always stood back up, brushed herself off and continued moving forward.

She has experienced times in her life when the true way was wholly lost.  Yet she didn’t curl up and die, she didn’t quit.  She kept reaching for answers, she kept reaching for help and was courageous enough to find it, no matter how far or long the search took.

This woman knows pain.  She knows betrayal.  She knows abandonment.  She knows rejection.  She knows humiliation.  And yet she still loves, she still cares.

This woman, in her search for truth, has discovered things about herself that were very, very difficult to look at.  While that would have stopped the search for many right there, she has continued to look at herself with a determination to learn how to forgive and accept herself… no matter what.

This woman is not perfect, far from it.  She has made mistakes, some of them irreversible.  She has hurt people.  She has caused others pain.  She has hurt herself.  She has caused herself pain.  But she doesn’t let that define her.  Oh sometimes she thinks that that’s all she is – the hurt and pain, the failures, but if that were really true, she would have quit long ago.  Some part of her knows the truth and that part keeps her moving forward, sometimes slowly, sometimes with great resistance and fear, but always moving forward.

She has gotten lost many, many times in her search.  She has repeated patterns over and over again, even when she knew they were destructive.  She has wept with tears of loneliness and her heart has ached in utter despair.  Yet she has kept going.

What is it in this woman, that she could experience all this and not give up?  That despite all the pain and terror and rage, she continues to love and care – she continues to search?  Why didn’t she quit long ago?  She had reason to, she would have even been justified given what she’s experienced.  But she hasn’t given up and she won’t, no matter what happens because… she is magnificent.  She is magnificent.

She doesn’t see that about herself yet because she has been so focused on the darkness within herself.  But the darkness is but a tiny, tiny speck on an infinite canvass of light.

Yes, she is magnificent.  If you look at her life, you can see it quite clearly.  It’s not in what has happened, it’s in how she has courageously responded.  Ever searching, ever willing.

Yes, I know a woman.  She is magnificent.  And that woman… is you.


I want to tell you about a man that I know:

He has faced devastating situations that have brought him to his knees.  Yet he has always stood back up again.  Sometimes it took him weeks or months; other times it took years – but he always stood back up, brushed himself off and continued moving forward.

He has experienced times in his life when the true way was wholly lost.  Yet he didn’t curl up and die, he didn’t quit.  He kept reaching for answers, he kept reaching for help and was courageous enough to find it, no matter how far or long the search took.

This man knows pain.  He knows betrayal.  He knows abandonment.  He knows rejection.  He knows humiliation.  And yet he still loves, he still cares.

This man, in his search for truth, has discovered things about himself that were very, very difficult to look at.  While that would have stopped the search for many right there, he has continued to look at himself with a determination to learn how to forgive and accept himself… no matter what.

This man is not perfect, far from it.  He has made mistakes, some of them irreversible.  He has hurt people.  He has caused others pain.  He has hurt himself.  He has caused himself pain.  But he doesn’t let that define him.  Oh sometimes he thinks that that’s all he is – the hurt and pain, the failures, but if that were really true, he would have quit long ago.  Some part of him knows the truth and that part keeps him moving forward, sometimes slowly, sometimes with great resistance and fear, but always moving forward.

He has gotten lost many, many times in his search.  He has repeated patterns over and over again, even when he knew they were destructive.  He has wept with tears of loneliness and his heart has ached in utter despair.  Yet he has kept going.

What is it in this man, that he could experience all this and not give up?  That despite all the pain and terror and rage, he continues to love and care – he continues to search?  Why didn’t he quit long ago?  He had reason to, he would have even been justified given what he’s experienced.  But he hasn’t given up and he won’t, no matter what happens because… he is magnificent.  He is magnificent.

He doesn’t see that about himself yet because he has been so focused on the darkness within himself.  But the darkness is but a tiny, tiny speck on an infinite canvass of light.

Yes, he is magnificent.  If you look at his life, you can see it quite clearly.  It’s not in what has happened, it’s in how he has courageously responded.  Ever searching, ever willing.

Yes, I know a man.  He is magnificent.  And that man… is you.

Uncovering Your Worth: Coming Home to Who You Truly Are

In living a magical life, it’s valuable to remember that positive energy is so much more powerful than negative energy. In fact, it only takes a tiny bit of positive energy to change something that is extremely negative. When you change the way you think, even just a little, you can significantly change your life, no matter how negative it has been. Again, positive energy is so much more powerful than negative energy.

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And it doesn’t have to take years. Little changes in the way you think today can yield huge changes over time. You don’t have to turn over a new leaf or radically upend your life – those kinds of changes are hard to sustain anyway. It’s the small incremental changes that have the most lasting effect because they’re easier to integrate and make part of your life.

One incredibly effective way to begin changing the way you think is to focus on uncovering your worth. It’s not something that you can earn – you are already worthy by the very fact that you exist – but it is something that you can uncover by letting yourself think about it, by giving it attention. Consider this: you are worthy of the very best that life has to offer, right now. There’s nothing that you need to change about yourself, there’s nothing that you need to do or be or say, you are worthy right now. Your worth is part of your birthright as a human being because you are a piece of the Divine. You are a vast and mighty spiritual being, having a physical experience, whose true nature is sacred and holy. You are good, true and beautiful, not because of the good, true or beautiful things that you do, but because this is who you are, this is your very essence.

Sometimes this is hard to accept because everyone knows that they have some ugly parts of self. But that doesn’t take away from your beauty, nor does it diminish your worth. Part of being human is learning how to accept the ugly parts of self and love yourself anyway. Now that doesn’t mean you want to act out of those ugly parts, but it’s still okay to have them. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. You’re a human being, not an angel. You’re a piece of the Divine, not all of the Divine. You’ll always have negativity within you as long as you’re human and that’s okay, that’s okay – that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be.

When you made the decision to experience human consciousness, you signed up to live in a world of duality, a world with positivity and negativity. You also signed up to embody that duality, to have positive and negative parts within yourself.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of or to try to hide. It’s just the human experience. This duality is actually something to respect and value because it creates the opportunity for you to triumph, to choose to act out of love rather than negativity. To choose to act out of character and integrity instead of manipulation, control or domination. And every time you choose to love, every time you choose to act out of character and integrity, you just get that much stronger, wiser and more powerful, which is a goal of any personal growth journey.

Ultimately, personal growth is about coming home, it’s about remembering more and more of the divinity that you truly are. Home isn’t a location, it’s a state of being. And this physical world, with its dual nature, provides a fantastic classroom to do your homework, to do the work that brings you home. Unfortunately, most people involved with personal growth spend the majority of their time focusing on what they perceive as wrong about themselves rather than what is right, which can make it harder to come home. It certainly makes it harder to uncover your worth. That’s not to say people shouldn’t focus on what they want to change about themselves, but what about giving equal (or even greater) weight to what is already beautiful?

Even if it’s only for five minutes, what if you let yourself think about how much you love and care. About your commitment to what you believe in. About your courage to keep moving forward even when you’re scared. About how dear you hold your spirituality. About how much you time and energy you invest in your growth. About your dedication to making the world a better place. About your concern for people who are suffering that you don’t even know. About how much you deplore injustice.

tulips-1261142These things don’t make you worthy – you already are – but by letting yourself think about them it becomes much easier to experience your worth, to experience the piece of the Divine that you truly are in the essence of your being. Again, positive energy is so much more powerful than negative energy. Imagine how your life could be different if you spent just a little time every day thinking about what is right with you. As Wayne Dyer, one of my favorite spiritual teachers said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

When you start focusing on what is right with you rather than only on what you perceive as wrong, you will literally change yourself. And you’ll also generate an enormous amount of positive energy.