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Friday, August 3, 2012

The Infinite Garden

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've read that flowers can be cross bred, which I guess means there are in fact an infinite number of possible flower species.  I love that thought.

This is a great starting place to explain one way I see the concept of 'beauty.' There is no single flower that equals the concept of 'beauty' to the exclusion of all other flowers- or even a single flower that could definitively be called 'more' beautiful than other flowers because it's completely subjective.  There are certainly flowers that are more popular than others, and there are flowers that are more showy than others, but that doesn't make them somehow 'better.'  It just means they're more popular and more showy.

One of my favorite flowers is the lobelia. It's a small blue flower, one that many consider rather unassuming. Someone once told me it grows wild in the cracks of the sidewalks in England, and is generally thought of as being downright uninteresting.  Yet it's intense blue violet color never ceases to amaze and enthrall me.  I don't know how many pictures I've taken of the tiny lobelia I have growing on my patio. (I'm sure my facebook friends groan at the site of yet another album of lobelia.) Others are similarly enthralled with the buganvilla that grows so readily here in southern California- I like the flower, enjoy it when I see it,  but not enough to give it space on my small patio.   

But that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point is that all flowers are beautiful in their own way, and the sheer variety of species makes each one's uniqueness even more so- that there are so many flowers, and they can be so very, very different in so very many ways enhances the beauty of each. This is how I see people, too. There are as many definitions of beauty as there are people on this planet. It's simply a matter of creating the ideal conditions in which one can 'bloom.'  To my way of thinking, that begins with acceptance- of ones self, and of others. Wayne Dyer says that negative thoughts weaken you and positive thoughts strengthen you, and the immediate energy field. I know that when I consciously work on choosing positive thoughts over negative or unkind thoughts, towards others or myself, I feel better and have more energy. I'd say that's an example of the mind/body connection, no?

No matter what kind of flower you might see yourself as, it's pointless and destructive to compare yourself to others in a judgmental, negative way- be it to feel superior or inferior. It simply serves no useful purpose. There's always going to be someone who's more popular, or who's appearance will get more attention than yours, for whatever reason. And there's always going to be someone who has a quieter presentation than yours. Enjoy them all for what they have to offer, and yourself for what you have to offer- and be grateful that all such flowers exist, as our differences are part of what makes us, and life, interesting.

Happy Dressing!