Some of the more profound experiences many people have are triggered by beauty. A remarkable sunset, an incredible artwork, a profundity of form. Our senses give us a glimpse of the underlying intelligence, the flow of love, and we are inspired in awe. We have a taste of truth on the surface and we are smitten.

In large part, this is because the spectacle takes us out of mind, out of the critic and judge that make things small. We have a taste of the underlying reality and our natural state of being.

Turn those same eyes to our own form and rather than seeing perfection and love, we see the opposite: we see what is wrong, what is aging, what is insufficient. In other words, we see with the harshest of critic.

This effect is amplified by the constantly reminding media of what “better” is, even though better is an artifice, a life airbrushed and pancaked into illusion. Our heroes are movie stars, professional pretenders.

We are presented with an ideal that is hollow, a beauty that is not even skin deep. In my work in TV and film, I was struck by how even those people we judge as beautiful often judge themselves as insufficient. On any scale, there is always better.

What brought us awe was not a surface beauty, not illusion. It was the inner beauty, the divine in expression, the flow of love. Love that is ever present.

We are made of that. It is only the mind that makes things wrong, judges ugly, sees bad. When we can step a little out of that story of what’s wrong, we see the underlying perfection, right there on the surface. We can touch it with our fingers.

Relax. It’s OK. Everything is fine.

If you don’t feel that, take Mary O’Malley’s advice and ask yourself “What am I truly longing for?” It’s not what you might think  😉

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