As I was ruminating about life, a thought occurred to me. Why is it that humankind has this need for the beautiful? Why is it that we need to see the beauty, acknowledge the pretty, seek for the cleanest most presentable aspect of our framework of what the beautiful is in other people, in other things, in our surroundings and in the people we live with, people we fall in love with and the people we watch on tv and our Instagram posts. Why? Why are we looking for the perfect? for the validation that we have to possess. To own the beautiful within ourselves and outside. Is it any wonder that we then learn to reject what is not within the construct of what beautiful is.. As I questioned myself, I asked myself this as well. If beauty exists then what does ugliness mean to us?
I deal in Art. I see art in its various form’s day in and day out. Looking at Art, along the years I have developed a keen eye on what sits right to the eye and what doesn’t. I have learned through experience to seek the beautiful within the ugly as well. Because art does not conform to one kind of beauty. I then come to the thought that begs a question what then does ugliness conform to? I have profoundly experienced this in my life that there is a sense of this marvelously attractive beauty, this raw beauty that exists within the darkest and saddest and the ugliest corners of our minds. These corners, these sad places our minds and our hearts travels to, when delved into are but exercises in our journey towards understanding what our standards of ‘life’ are to us. These times are filled with knowledge and pain, with grace and compassion, with reprimand and lecture. In these corners we learn to build ourselves to form a construct we then decide to place ourselves in. A conformity of whether we are beautiful or ugly.Yes, spirituality says that beauty and ugliness is within us. I see it another way. It is but our perception of who we are. It’s like the glass half full or half empty kind of existential puzzle. Is our life half full of beauty or half full of ugliness? That is the question we must ask ourselves. That when we look at another person. Do we see the beauty in the other person or seek the ugliness first?
Have you ever wondered the first thing we do when we look at another person? we subconsciously scan to look for flaws. Fat, too thin, short, petite, a failure, ugly, condescending, cruel, too beautiful, too successful, not good enough or beyond my standards, unintelligent or too brilliant. oh my and we go on and on these flaws we seek somewhere help us relate to the person we see. When we find a commonality, we recognize the ugliness we too carry and resonate; this shared ugliness makes us bond and in there we find love and beauty. How do you think jealousy was created.
So, then what really is being ugly? It’s nothing really. We don’t look for the beauty in people first we look for their ugliness instead and if it matches with our ideal we look to seek more. Oh yes, please don’t get me wrong we also look and fall in love with kindness and compassion and selflessness and grace. There is devotion and love and valor and loyalty.. We seek all of these virtues in our loved ones. Wars are fought on the shoulders of these virtues. These are but all that we strive to be and the purpose of our human lives , but the bond of ugliness that when resonates, creates a bond that is shared even more strongly. As mother nature reminds us it is only in the muck that a lotus lives, it is only when we recognize the ugliness within us that we learn to grow and share the beautiful as well.
By, Shwetambari Soni