Do you ever have one of those days when everyone from the grumpy barista at Starbucks…to the slow driver on his phone in the fast lane of the highway…to the fat man crossing the street too slowly…to the tree you’ve never noticed outside your office window…to the kindness of the person who lets you go ahead of them in line at the grocery store since you only have 3 items…to your home, your spouse, your kids.
Given the inner workings of a brain like mine, these days only come so often, and sadly, the days when the opposite description of the people above would be more apt. But I’m learning to embrace them when they come.
This morning I sat in a coffee shop working on a new book about my spiritual journey thus far in life. When four men sat down in my quiet, somewhat private section of the coffee shop, I was annoyed. They started in about “church and the message on Sunday.” I thought, “Great, here I am trying to write about my recent need to escape church, and some men’s Bible study group sits down about 18 inches away. And then they talked for two hours about everything from Jesus to reincarnation – just philosophizing, not dogmatizing. It was as if they were there to tell me to press on with my new book.
This was a beautiful moment.
And this morning my sister-in-law sent a picture of her boyfriend’s motorcycle helmet, which now reads “Shake the Dust” prominently on the side. Someone besides me is now my compatriot in wanting to “shake the dust,” to embrace all the beautiful-but-broken people and facets of life that Mojgani illustrates almost magically in his poem.
This was beautiful to me.
And there’s my beautiful and saintly wife standing across the room from me, engrossed in some new technology for work, mumbling things to herself as usual, finishing her lunch…existing with me, often for me…this ordinary saint of a woman who has shown me unconditional love.
She is beautiful to me.
My dog lies contentedly on the floor, existing in the moment as only an animal can. Unconcerned by anything other than this moment spent with me, my wife, and my son.
Her simplicity and complete acceptance of her dog-ness is beautiful.
My son sits on the couch next to me playing some sort of game on my iPhone. He’s peaceful, engrossed, unaware of the world around him in that way adults wish they could still taste from time to time.
He is precious and beautiful.
My daughter – my precious daughter who was seemingly born last week – is off at First Grade. Who taught her to read and write and to love dance music and never to be scared of anything or anyone? Who taught her to befriend the boy with special needs in her class, to walk with him even when he lags behind the others in the group?
She is beautiful inside and out.
And even I, as I learn to forgive myself and accept myself as I am, without judgment, with plenty of grace, mercy, and patience…can I say it? I am beautiful, too. Complex, maddening to myself and others, moody and unpredictable. Broken, but trying, forging ahead, hoping, accepting myself now, as I am.
I am beautiful.
And you…Not only when you get dressed up or act a bit more patient than usual or do something selfless for someone. Where you are, how you are…no changes necessary. Fall into it; forgive yourself; embrace all the components of your complex but captivating self. You are the only YOU. You’re trying, hoping, growing, but no matter how far you have to go or how “un-far” you feel like you’ve come, you are unique and profound.
You are beautiful.
PS. Share this message with someone who needs to know s/he is beautiful. Thanks!
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