No B.S Friday: Time to take responsibility for what lights you up
Everyone wants to be dazzled.
We all want that rush of the senses, where we almost can’t believe it’s happening.
We want beauty to blow our eyelids off their hinges. We want the sunset to be so spectacular that it takes our breath away. We want the fall of her hair to be so majestic that we choke on our Jatz and olive. We want Lionel Messi’s strike from 10 yards outside the box to be so perfect that it gives wings to our heart.
We want to be amazed.
And that’s fine. It’s nice to be amazed.
But I worry that we live in a world where we’re only able to recognise beauty when it totally overruns our senses.
It’s like, it has to overcome all of our defences before we can even recognise it.
This is a problem. I think we’re missing out on a lot if this is the only beauty we ever experience.
Because we know that the appreciation of beauty is not just about the thing we’re seeing.
It totally depends on us and the kind of space we’re in.
We know this right? If you’re watching a child trying to walk in your shoes, it’s adorable. It gets you right in the heart.
If however, it’s 5a.m on a Sunday morning, and your son comes clip-clopping into your room in your shoes to wake everybody up, it’s not so amazing.
In fact, it’s a downright pain in the arse.
The beauty of that moment depends entirely on your receptiveness.
And most of the time, we’re not that receptive.
We’re too caught up on other things. We’re too caught up on the problems we have to deal with and the strategies we have to execute. We’re all tangled up in our rational, problem-solving mind.
And the modern world keeps us pinned there. There are so many problems we have to deal with. So many things to sort out.
It’s kind of exactly why we want to be dazzled. Half the joy of being dazzled is in the beauty, the other half is being yanked out of our problem-solving mind and into the ‘real’ world again.
And that would be ok if dazzling things came along regularly, but how often do they, really? Not that often. Hardly ever.
And so we can go for long spells without appreciating any beauty at all.
This is a sad state of affairs. Beauty is the point. I think we are here to drink in the beauty life has to offer us.
But we’re too caught up in our own crap to notice the beauty that is there, all around us and in every day.
So, preaching again from Jon’s gospel of radical responsibility, we need to take responsibility for our receptiveness.
We can’t wait for beauty to come along and blow our eyelids off their hinges. We have to take responsibility for bringing ourselves regularly into a receptive state.
That means a few things. It means coming ‘back into the moment’ and becoming present. But that’s just another way of saying getting out of our problem solving minds.
And so I think we just need to put down tools now and then. All of them. Just stop working on problems.
Stop looking at the world through the eyes of someone looking for problems to fix.
Instead, look through the eyes of someone who is just happy to be here.
You might be surprised at how much beauty has been hiding under you own nose all this time.