Diamonds have dimensions of value, one of which has to do with imperfections, known as “occlusions”. The more imperfect, occluded, the less valuable it is. And I was struck by how odd that is, and also how apt.
We seem to strive in life, and often seek out, this idea of perfection. Fashion and beauty, for example, are so intensely airbrushed they almost no longer resemble reality. Why on earth would we find beautiful something that does not exist in nature, only rather in photoshop?
Beauty cannot be taken, only bestowed
Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Simple examples abound in physical attraction. My friends have never been attracted to the same women I am. The men I have found attractive would not be attractive to many.
To relish one’s own beauty is to take…and the act of taking has a consequence of diminishing that which is taken.
I think of this a lot in relation to femininity. I do not ask for pronouns, I do not ask to be seen a certain way. I will be seen as you see me. I will try to seem to be different, but rather just be in my skin as me.
Who am I? What am I?
In society, we expend a lot of energy on status. Shopping culture is founded on the idea that buying things is aspirational. That objects can somehow reflect back on who we are.
Accidents of birth, and what is birth for anyone other than a complete accident, are also taken as markers for who we are. But that seems absurd. How can a lottery of existence say anything about who we are?
The things we achieve, our jobs, our professional successes, are all somehow indicators of what we are. I am a successful stockbroker, or whatever. But so much chance plays into this too. Born white, born wealthy, born into the right family, the right time, the right place, whatever. How much of that collection of accidents has actually made it possible for the ‘what’ which we might define ourselves as to come into being?
We spend our lives wondering about who we are, or what we are (finding ourselves)…and in most ways, these are all things we do not control. So why should they have anything to do with our sense of self-worth?
It is how we are that matters
The only thing we can control in life is how we are…how we behave, how we react to the world around us, how we conduct ourselves in our daily lives. It is the “how” of life that we control. It is what we control and manifest in this sense that ultimately is the true indicator of who or what we are. How.
I’m going to focus on that, and the rest will fall into place. Because how we are is the essence of who we are…and what we are is a gift that others bestow on us for the cumulative how of lived experience…and reflects on how we might have touched them…
The material world has nothing to do with this. Embrace your occlusions. It is what makes you unique and beautiful.