Beauty Everywhere

by Karl Smerecnik on July 7, 2011

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.” – Anne Frank

Photo by C.K. Koay

Consider your outlook of your life and the world. Do you see pain and suffering before beauty and joy? Do you say to yourself, “it is obvious there is more pain than joy” and then recite numerous examples from your life and others? Or are you often filled with a continual sense of wonder and awe because in every situation you see beauty?

I can speak for myself that for many years I was obsessed with choosing to see the misery of the world. I continually read news articles and books to confirm to myself that the world is a place full of pain. This habituated me to see pain over beauty in my own life. I was inspired to take some action but my intent was to make life less miserable, as opposed to making it more wonderful, and in the process I myself was miserable.

I asked myself two questions:
1. Do I want to spend my life focused on misery or beauty?
2. Do I think focusing on misery will actually inspire me to make life more beautiful for myself and others?

The answers are obvious and Anne Frank seems to think the same.

Choose your thoughts carefully because what you think about becomes your reality.

When you change your outlook, your life will be transformed. If Anne Frank can do this in the most dire of situations, I am certain that you and I can achieve this in our lives. In order to see beauty in every situation, we must develop new habits.

Create the Habit of Seeing Beauty

The goal is to habituate yourself to see incredible beauty in every situation and feel inspired to create a life of well-being for yourself and contribute to others. When you feel you are focusing on the misery too much, connect with what need of you are trying to meet. Envision a way you can meet that need that is inspired by beauty. Start developing this new habit by reflecting throughout the day on the beauty you see around you.

Consider these examples:

1. You are looking out into a busy crowded loud city street. Do you choose to: (a) notice the beautiful sunflowers before you or (b) notice the traffic, noise, and overwhelming amount of concrete?

2. You stub your toe. Do you respond by: (a) swearing or (b) taking a moment to feel gratitude for having a toe, even though it can be hurt on occasion?

3. You are single and see a happy couple. Are you: (a) jealous or (b) happy for the love that people can experience in relationships?

4. You hear a news report about water shortage in the world. Do you feel: (a) despair because this problem seems to big for you to solve or (b) hope because you and a friend have committed to reducing your water usage?

Share your example below to inspire others to see beauty in every situation.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey July 7, 2011 at 20:35

Great point!

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stepintowonder July 7, 2011 at 20:38

Thanks Casey. I really appreciate your continual feedback.

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andream. July 8, 2011 at 05:18

Today I spent nearly 7 hours in a crowded courtroom, waiting to stand before the judge and plead my case regarding my failure to appear in court for a traffic infraction (1: I didn't know I was summoned, as I paid the ticket, but it was not received, and 2: I was in India, so it would have been a long commute to make it back anyway!). Court is decidedly NOT where I want to be spending my time these days, but I was able to get the fee reduced in exchange for the *opportunity* to spend 4 days cleaning up the highways wearing a rockin' orange vest :) BUT, the upside to all this, is that I witnessed the judge dismiss a charge against a young man for catching oversized shrimp. She was suppressing a smile…I laughed out loud. Who knew you could get a ticket for catching shrimp that are too big??? That is something I have never thought I'd see (and honestly, I'll be happy if I never have to go back to court), but it was a moment of levity in a long day:) Thanks for all your continued insight, Karl!

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Frenchy August 13, 2011 at 09:39

Alrhigt alright alright that’s exactly what I needed!

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stepintowonder July 8, 2011 at 14:37

Wow Andrea, what a story, thanks for sharing. It's a good example of finding humor and joy in frustrating situations.

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