I'm re-reading Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read it earlier this semester, but as I continued reading, I realized that I had passed by some awesome quotes and concepts, and I thought I would elaborate on one.
Where do you think there is ultimate beauty?
At first, I thought about nature. Nature is pretty cool. I mean, I live in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. My roommate and I hiked to the top of Elk Knob near Todd, North Carolina, and the entire mountain is a long trek to the top, but once you're at the top, you can see life and green and lushness for miles around, and it's just wonderful. It's so vibrant. It's completely overwhelming. There's so much life and so much potential for beauty. It's wonderful. But then I thought about it more.
Beauty is only beautiful if it overwhelms me.
I'm going to go against all of Appalachian, all of those hikers and mountaineers, and say this: I think there's something more beautiful than nature
Nature is great, but I think there's something even greater. Nature doesn't take my breath away and it doesn't inspire me to be a better person. It doesn't inspire me to grow in anything, and it doesn't inspire me to do anything but, as I did atop Elk Knob, lay down on the ground.
I will say that there are some elements of nature that amaze me. The microscopic detail in nature astounds me. The feather on a bird, the legs on a millipede, the close up of a flower -- it's all very beautiful and it amazes me. It reminds me that I serve a God that created nature on a microscopic scale, and he created all the elements of me and who I am on that same microscopic scale.
But, there's something else that just overwhelms my soul.
For the longest time, the idea of being at peace and having peace in my life was something foreign to me. It was something I couldn't handle and it was something I thought would never be possible for me. Moments of peace came and they went like brilliant shades of light. Teasing me almost. But the cool thing is that lasting peace can come and it can plague your soul. And that is the most beautiful thing in the world. Being at peace with all of the world and all of the world being at peace with you is a beautiful thing. It is there that hope springs eternal, that love grows steadfast and that joy emulates itself within the soul.
I now experience that peace on almost a daily, peaceful basis. I eliminated those things in my life that do not create an attitude or heart of peace within my life. I eliminated the things that were not necessary to my life. Even some people and situations. I grabbed hold tightly of some other things because they help form peace in my life or without them, I would not be able to experience any peace at all. It still overwhelms me.
It still overwhelms me.
This serenity is almost too good for my soul to take. I cannot almost handle all this goodness and love and mercy. I can't accept it because it's better than anything else I've experienced in my recent life.
Peace is my ultimate beauty, because I have just now begun to experience it after a long time of unpeaceful situations and circumstances. It heightens experiences.What do you believe is "ultimate" beauty? Do you find beauty outside of nature? Where do you find peace, goodness, love and mercy?