I wandered the beach yesterday in search of the perfect shell. I scanned the sandy Oregon shore littered with sea debris, seeking out a complete shell. As my eyes wandered over the incredible landscape, I found myself continually hoping to discover the image of perfection.
I glimpsed several possibilities throughout my wanderings before I thought I spotted ‘The One.’
As I stopped to pick up a beloved, whole sand dollar, I thought I’d finally claimed my prize.
Yet as I grasped my treasure, brushing away the sand to better admire its beauty, I unexpectedly discovered I was feeling conflicted about calling this shell beautiful. I found myself contemplating why I only choose to see beauty in the complete, in the whole, in the flawless. What was it that made me only find joy in the supposedly perfect?
Disappointed in this realization, I quickly discarded the sand dollar. As my image of ideal perfection had suddenly found itself shattered, I found it only fitting to let the sand dollar lie among the fragments of seashells that littered the beach.
I decided to continue my walk, letting my eyes drift over the mess of broken shells that had accumulated along the high-tide line. And as I walked, I no longer focused on finding the whole shells, my goal became to see only the beauty that surrounded me, just as it was.
Musing and meandering, I finally came to a conclusion I deemed acceptable:
Life is most beautiful when it’s accepted, wholly and completely for what it is.
And what is that exactly?
And like the shell I finally decided to embrace as the day’s image of perfection, sometimes life is a little bit broken.
Embracing the unbecoming is what makes life unique. It’s what makes life interesting. It’s what makes life beautiful.
Where will you choose to see beauty today?