Beauty

 

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There’s a bully living in my head.

She’s an early-riser, apparently. Because by the time I even consider opening my eyes to the new day, she’s there, reminding me of all the things I need to do. She wants me to hurry. HURRY UP! YOU SHOULD BE WORKING OUT BY NOW. Her favorite word is “should”. According to her, I should work out every single day – twice a day, in fact. I should only eat vegetables and never drink wine. I should be available 24/7 to anyone who needs me. I should always be sitting at my desk at my office, ready to handle any person’s trouble. My house should be free of dust and cat hair. I should have amazing organic food available at all times. I should drink less coffee, watch less TV, eat less chocolate, lose more weight.

We don’t really get along.

She’s really powerful too. When she’s in control, it seems like she can even effect what I see through my eyes. She – believe it or not – can turn off my beauty perceptors. She only perceives responsibility. Looking out to my backyard where the squirrels are chasing each other up and down the tangled branches of the majestic banyan tree, she points out branches that need trimming and weeds that need pulling. When I let her take over, life is a burden. Unfortunately I don’t always recognize when she’s taken over. It’s not really true that I choose to let her. She’s so sneaky that I usually think I’m her, or she’s me; I can’t tell the difference.

Except that my backyard is really beautiful and I can tell the difference between seeing and not seeing. A week of vacation really reinforced the power of perceiving beauty, of resting in beauty. Beauty inspires and relaxes and rejuvenates. So today, my inner-bully is grating on my nerves. Somehow, instead of lashing out at her (and becoming a bully myself), I focus on the beauty before me. I allow myself to be fascinated by the details, the way the leaves move ever-so-slightly in the nearly imperceptible breeze. Everything looks so still until I become still. Only then can I see that there is movement and life everywhere. An orange butterfly alights off a leaf and flutters by. A cardinal swoops in and perches, briefly, on the fence than flies off as well. There’s so much aliveness! I realize that my breath has slowed and deepened.

Nothing else matters.

I’ve been living backwards or upside-down, making the unimportant important, ignoring the essential. Yes, I have things to do. There will always be lots and lots of things to do. My inner-bully, lulled into quiet herself by the beauty before her, will eventually come back to her senses, or her nonsense – depending on how you look at it. But maybe I can do my to-dos differently, more deeply or more sweetly. Maybe I can carry beauty with me. In the words of e.e. cummings:

 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

 

Maybe I can carry beauty’s heart in my heart.

~ by Hilda Porro on August 11, 2015.

4 Responses to “Beauty”

  1. OMG, this is sooooo me… Thank you and I sent it to the whole staff… xo

    Julie Tannehill Phelps Media Group General Manager 12012 South Shore Blvd ,#201 Wellington, Florida 33414 561-753-3389 work 561-389-9984 cell

    >

  2. Thanks, Julie! : )

  3. Wait…how did she get in your head? She lives In Mine !

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