Inner Beauty

A few weeks ago, June honored me with this award.  There are lots of blogger recognitions out there, but this one really touched me, probably because I’ve certainly not felt very beautiful of late, or very powerful.  Today, reading this simple sentence, I started thinking about the times in my life when I did walk with a sense of strong inner beauty, times when I felt powerful enough to turn winter into spring and set flowers to blossom in my footsteps.  Times when I had the confidence to take on the world and all its challenges, when I felt as if my life had a purpose, as if it mattered in more ways than just getting through another day. 

The first year of my marriage – oh, how beautiful and powerful I felt then.  And certainly that feeling arose from being loved so much, but also from being in charge of my own life for the first time, and seeing the future spread out before me, twinkling with promise like a million stars in the night sky.

Finishing college, finally getting my degree after 10 years, and graduating with honor, in spite of doing it all while working part time and caring for a toddler, gave me a unique sense of accomplishment, one I hadn’t felt in a long time.  Walking across that stage to get my degree, I could almost see the ice melt and smell the flowers springing up behind me.

Certainly playing music, performing, working as a team with other musicians – that’s heady sense of beauty for me.  Over the past dozen years I’ve pushed myself to new heights in that arena, worked to overcome performance anxiety and discovered what fun it is to entertain.  There is power and beauty in making people smile, through music.

And through writing.  Coming again to the practice of writing, finding a way to share thoughts and ideas with others- well, that provides a uniquely beautiful experience. 

 So it was good to recall those days when my sense of inner beauty reigned.  It reminded me I need to search for ways to allow the beautiful girl inside me to come out and play.  I don’t do that often enough, and I suspect most of you don’t either.  Because there is a beautiful girl inside everyone of us, even if they sometimes get lost among the tarnished realities of everyday life.

The words of Mary Oliver’s poem, When I Am Among the Trees, have really been speaking to me lately.  As a matter of fact, I printed the poem on a small card and have it tacked above my desk at work.  Here are the verses that resound in my heart…

 I am so distant from the hope of myself

in which I have goodness and discernment

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly and bow often.

And yet, the trees remind her with their simple grace and inner beauty, it’s really quite simple – “you too have come into the world to do this…to go easy…to be filled with light…and to shine.”

So now -thanks to June and Mary Oliver- I’m looking for ways to shine, my friends.

How about you?




7 thoughts on “Inner Beauty

  1. You’re so welcome Becca. We all go through highs and lows in regards to how we feel about our own power and the worth of our lives. Like you, I try to be diligent in finding ways to allow the beautiful girl inside me to come out and play…to scribble. To quote me from an Aug 07 post:

    “Our lives are richer for it, and yet, as we immerse ourselves in day to day living…as we age and become more cautious, more fearful…it’s easy to forget to allow some scribbling in our lives. We tend to be content to watch others doing it…content to experience it vicariously. Now I’m not saying we should all try jumping from a plane, but I think it’s important for us to “let go” somehow, some way, every day. A dear friend of mine who died recently was an expert at this. I think of him and can just hear him say: Have fun. Scribble.”

    I share a love of Mary Oliver with you. Please go to the link below and re-read her poem “Messenger”. It speaks to what we’re talking about here.

    I’ve gotten a bit long here for a comment, so will close by saying this: I’m glad this award affected you the same way it did me…but then, I knew it would!

  2. I keep coming across Mary Oliver’s name, first in a favorite poem by Barbara Crooker, “All That Is Glorious Around Us,” then in a book my husband just gave me, her handbook to reading and writing poetry, and then in a volume of her work I just discovered in the basement… a book to which no one in my family claims any ownership, and now in these wonderful lines you’ve posted here. I think I need to take a closer look…

    What a lovely award — congratulations!

  3. What a lovely award; I love the simplicity of the badge that represents it. So many of your posts display that inner power and the words spill over into my heart and fortify me. You are a well-deserved recipient!

  4. You have reminded me to reflect on my own special times. I am very distant from hope of myself lately. This post gave me a lift!

    We are waiting to see if we will be evacuated due to a forest fire. Wish us luck!

  5. Becca, this is beautiful. I have had many lows living here in paradise, and have forced myself to find the joy and beauty.
    Oh an I love the foto of you at the beach…a woman after my own heart.

  6. A beautiful award for a beautiful person…perfection. And as always, I love reading what you are thinking, experiencing. You stitch your thoughts so beautifully.

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