Can You Find Beauty Anywhere?

Peeling plaster
Filthy soap
Grease on everything

The sink at the mechanic’s shop was a sight to behold. Not because it was so disgusting. But because it was so beautiful.

I was a professional photographer for about seven years, and it was my job to find beauty in anything. It was my job to find beauty in a cheap wedding reception with plastic flowers. It was my job to find beauty in the leaves of poison ivy as I was photographing them.

And It’s Still My Job To Find Beauty Anywhere

Photography is no longer my job. But finding beauty is still very much a part of my job description. As a facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie, people bring me all kinds of problems and complaints. They bring me impossible situations where there is apparently no way out.

Because they want to find beauty and peace even in those hateful situations.

What Is Beauty?

For me, beauty is seeing something good, or uplifting, or intelligent, or valuable in something. I see beauty in the dirty mechanic’s sink because it is so real. There is no pretense there. It is practical and beautiful.

When people come to do The Work with me, I often ask them, "What is the advantage of the thing you’re complaining about?" Or, "How does it serve you?" I do this especially when looking for examples of the turnarounds.

And my clients inevitably find ways that it is good. They find beauty in their trapped situations through their own examples.

Let’s Look At Some Impossible Scenarios

1. Hitler

Is there any beauty in this man? We all know what horrible things he did. And there is no need to deny that reality. However, for balance, there must be some beauty there. Let’s see.

Hitler’s actions have made it very difficult for us as a world to continue justifying an age-old prejudice against the Jewish people. He serves as a constant reminder to us not to let prejudice of any kind get out of hand. This is a real service. We get to learn from his mistakes.

2. Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease. And let’s go to the worst case scenario of it–terminal cancer. Is there any good that can come from this? Is there any beauty?

One thing that terminal cancer patients sometimes report is a reshuffling of priorities. They finally start living the way they always wished they had. And this sometimes inspires others who don’t have cancer to do the same.

Sometimes, in the face of terminal cancer, people make amends with family members. Cancer cultures humility. Also, one of the best things about terminal cancer is that it’s terminal. It can’t wreak havok indefinitely.

3. Mother-In-Law

Imagine a mother-in-law who thinks she knows how to raise your children better than you do. Imagine the fighting and power struggles that can come out of that relationship. Where is the beauty in it?

Well, the mother-in-law may be confused about how best to help, but she may really love your child and want the best for him or her. That’s beautiful. Also she gives you great practice standing up for yourself. How beautiful is that? How much would you pay someone to practice that with you? And here she does it for free.

But If You Want To See Beauty, Why Do You Focus On Negativity?

Some people wonder why I choose topics for this newsletter that are not always beautiful at first glance. I usually start with problems. It’s easy to find beauty in what is already beautiful. Who can’t find beauty in warm sunshine, and freshly baked cookies?

But life if more than just the "good" side. Life has ups and downs and lots of twists and turns. And our challenge through all of it is, "Can we be happy?" "Can we find the beauty in it?" even when life doesn’t go our way.

For this we need a tool to transform our thinking about any negative situation into something genuinely positive.

The Work Of Byron Katie Is That Tool For Me

I have been doing The Work for five years now, and I have not yet encountered a stressful situation that The Work could not transform into something beautiful. That’s why I look for stress now. I go out of my way to find it. And I get excited when I find stressful thoughts inside me.

Because I know that when I put my stressful thoughts up against the four questions and turnarounds of The Work, I’m going to find a beautiful new perspective. A perspective that will give me peace again.

So Gather Your Stressful Thoughts

And bring them to The Work.

You can do The Work on your own at home. Or you can do The Work with me (in addition to single sessions, I will soon be offering blocks of 12 sessions bundled together). Or you can do The Work live with me as part of a monthly teleconference service that I am planning to start soon (let me know if you’re interested in this).

And always, if you get stuck doing The Work, send me an email with your question. I’ll be happy to help in any way I can.

If you do The Work, I think that you may also find what I have discovered: negative situations always have a positive side as well. And greasy sinks can be beautiful.

Are you ready to start finding the beauty in your greasy sinks? The next step is to get The Work As Meditation newsletter. You’ll get insightful articles, and practical examples of The Work sent to you every week.

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