I spent a good portion of last night, mooring with the tide, tied to emotions, most of which surely weren’t mine to suffer, though, like a good little buoy I did all I could to stay afloat.
But what causes a man to harbor such feelings of faithless dread.
Sympathy? Empathy? Selfless, selfishness?
Isn’t it funny how even when no one asks us to suffer, we often choose to suffer.
Could it stem from guilt? Plausible, though I think not. Depression? No, because I could still move. Trauma? Not in this case, as it had nothing to personally do with me.
Perhaps than maybe deeper, beyond the physical self, far from age or reason, like roots grown deep within the soil, always there yet invisible to the naked eye.
So then what?
Let’s take the current state of society in which the mind is placed.
We are and always have been reactionary beings, jumping to conclusions without fully taking the time and energy to understand or explore where these irrational compulsions come from.
So the year is 2020 and we are still at one another’s throats.
Not a day goes by that I don’t get a phone call whether or not I am willing to vote. Not a day goes by that I don’t see one side of the argument ready and willing to cut the other’s throat. Not a day goes by where I don’t get the impression that peace is just dependent on war, like an inside joke I just don’t get the humor.
So it’s within this grey area that I swim where both sides of the equation continue to expel these deep seeded emotions from within.
Had it not been for the open minded, tirelessly educated guidance and good nature of a mother, I may have gone another way years ago, though still I stay afloat while the undertow continues its torment.
So it seems here, now, in the mornings clean light, where all that I can do is observe—in nature that surrounds—human nature take its course.
I know who I am. And I know my intentions are good. Sometimes our actions speak louder than words but for most of us, words just don’t seem to be heard.
But that’s no reason to destroy what you can’t control.
So for those who cannot express or explain this current state of extremes we face both alone and together, I suggest this: be a beacon of hope.
Because what we know today, with or without our help, will surely change tomorrow.
So even in my darkest hours, I know, hope will never falter, light will find a way, and tides will turn, if not now, then surely another day.
If what you see in the mirror is ugly, then consider this: chances are you’re comparing your own unique beauty to what, for your entire life, you’ve been programmed to believe is beautiful.
And what is beauty anyways?
Margaret Wolfe Hungerford said, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
And isn’t that true? Yes or no, in more instances than not beauty is subjective. In fact, I’d go even further to say that beauty manifests itself in infinite ways other than what the eye can see.
As a photographer with a fond admiration for women and men alike I can honestly say that I have taken countless photographs and manipulated them to appeal to the mass collective of what is to be considered quote on quote “beautiful.”
Hypocrite. No, I think not. I never claimed they were beautiful but simply did my job in a way that my superior agreed was aesthetically pleasing.
A wrinkle here, a crows foot there, deleted.
Nobody has ever died from a portrayal of beauty, right?
Wrong. Though I’m not an extremist so there are many factors to consider, all of which yes, I agree, may seem like a bit of a cop out or excuse not to hold oneself accountable for taking what is and transforming it into something less natural.
But this isn’t about my career choice or eye in which I behold.
This is about you and that “ugly” reflection in the mirror.
You are not ugly, you simply aren’t. You are you, and you are beautiful.
Those who claim to seek perfection, well, they’re only trying to fill a void. And it’s a bottomless pit because like beauty, perfection is ultimately subjective.
While I sit here and delve deeper into thought, I watch a mother and daughter walk by my window. The mother is flapping her arms as graceful as she can. The child looks to her mother and understands she is trying her best.
In the end all that we can do is try our best to love ourselves enough to fully accept the unique beauty of another.
Any other judgement is of which we have been programmed to believe.
It’s taken a very long while to believe in myself and I willingly admit that each day is a slow progression to further acceptance of my own unique beauty.
If someone tells you you’re not beautiful, that’s their loss.
And I hope the next mirror that you face looks back in your direction as the child looks with grace and marvels at the perfection of her mother’s love.