Sometimes, when we least expect it, life holds us a little closer and loves us a little bigger.
These are not loud and obvious events, but rather tender moments of vulnerability, clothed in the silence of bittersweet serenity and born of unforeseen grace. They’re the times marked by our first steps into unabashed existence and our release of every fear to the winds, the minutes that immediately follow what felt like an eternal uphill battle—and by that I mean a gut-wrenching, totally vertical, ruthless climb against the odds.
During that climb, it’s likely that we stumbled upon some truths. It’s also likely that, if we gave them enough time, we cultivated the means to blossom past the limits of even our wildest dreams, watching in disbelief as these truths unfurled into the miracles that were destined to fly by the strength of our own wings.
That does’t mean that we’ve never crashed and felt lower than we care to describe; it just means that we got through those parts. Simple as that.
It just means that time happened.
It means that even when we asked more questions than we could ever imagine answering, even when we didn’t know what to do because everything felt so wrong, even when every known became unknown within the breaths between frantic words, we survived. (Somehow.)
It means that time passed and we chose to go with it, to let it carry us through. And along the way it taught us countless lesson, most importantly teaching us what’s beautiful and where to find it.
Time teaches us that to find what’s beautiful is to enter a world of our own—the one we create with our heart songs and stories, the moments of realization that the present is much too sweet for us to want to be anywhere else.
And the best part is that what’s beautiful to each of us can be anything, found anywhere.
It can be found in the radiant souls who show us unconditional love and would do anything for us, whether we’re separated by endless miles or tightly wrapped in each other’s arms. It’s those who nourish our souls with heartfelt words, spoken, written or felt; the ones who have known the climb because they helped us on our way up, or because they’ve done it themselves.
It’s living in a place that inspires us, surrounding ourselves with those who share and respect our glorious quirks through a sacred recognition—an honoring of universal truths and unique rhythms alike. It’s that we are all inherently connected, yet entirely individual, one among many.
What’s beautiful is being who we are and loving others for who they are. And sometimes, that’s hard. But we (try to) do it anyway.
It’s immersing ourselves in the electric calm of what it means to be inspired, being as loud as we please but always ready to listen. Perhaps it’s running wildly in some moments and being completely still in others, relying on our inner knowing to guide us.
What’s beautiful is doing what we love to do. It’s waking up to a promising sunrise knowing that our day will be filled with the joy we’ve always dreamed of living. It’s closing the final hours of an adventure to an opulent sunset, realizing that everything we’ve ever desired has come our way.
At the same time, what’s beautiful is that we usually don’t get what we want, but we often find that what transpired instead was exactly what we needed. And to find that, we’ve probably experienced varying degrees of sadness, from minor disappointment to unspeakable pain.
But pain doesn’t last forever, and it’s a brilliant teacher.
It shows us what we truly want before we realize we want it, before we understand why we need it. And when things falls into place, we find what’s beautiful about pain—that it tells us exactly what we need, if we remember to listen.
And what’s most beautiful is that our hearts are always listening, ever armed with the courage to find what’s beautiful if we let them.
Our hearts know better than our doubtful minds; they trust that things will work out, even in the darkest moments of a harsh reality. In the midst of blind chaos, our hearts can be brave despite the terrors of our heads. With every pulse and rush of blood, they acknowledge our journey in all its unpredictable glory—honoring it, loving it, living it.
And because they do this, because they know and feel everything there is to know and feel, they always find what’s beautiful. They always lead us to those moments when we’re held a little closer and loved a little bigger.
These moments don’t tell us that everything is perfect, nor that it ever will be; they tell us that we’re alive, awake, searching, finding, experiencing.
They tell us that we’re still going, no matter how steep the climb has been and undoubtedly will be.
And whether we’re falling down or flying, they give us the courage to stumble upon life and find what’s beautiful about it, to let time do its work—to harness the courage of our hearts and let it take us wherever it may.
And that’s beautiful.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own by Brian Mengini Photography