You Won’t Find It If You’re Not Looking…

August 1, 2023

I recently learned of the existence of “darkness retreats” wherein participants willingly deprive themselves of all light in order to experience a new appreciation for the beauty of sight.

Not to undermine the sacrifice and profundity of such an experience, but summoning awe and reverence for something once you’re without it seems fairly easy.

Counter-intuitive though it may seem, it requires much more insight and awareness to appreciate what you have while you have it. To do so requires you to push beyond the autopilot mode you spend so much of your time in and truly see the beauty and abundance that surrounds you—the sights and sounds and smells and comforts that you’ve gotten so familiar with that you’ve forgotten what gifts they are.

Living in a state of awe is a choice you make. It’s deciding to remain connected to the youthful, naive part of you that’s curious enough to pay attention, and open enough to be impressed by what you find.

The older we get and the more we’ve seen and experienced, the more we need to consciously invite ourselves to stay in a state of wonder. Our brains naturally register what’s foreign, and glaze over what’s familiar. But just because you’ve seen thousands of impossibly intricate flowers doesn’t mean you can’t pause to absorb the one in front of you.

The trees outside your house, gnarled and reaching, are as majestic as they’ve ever been. The tide rushing up over thousands of pebbles and receding back again sounds as lush and silvery as it ever has. The summertime air, perfumed by jasmine and lilies, wafts as sweetly as it ever did.

Beauty surrounds you. The awe of the natural world and the blessings of your material one are there for you to enjoy.

You do not need to wait for something to be taken from you in order to realize what a blessing it had been, all along. Be grateful now. Be curious. Look with the intention to find beauty and wonder and you surely will find them. 

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