Beauty Inside and Out

How does one define beauty? Some might say it is symmetry with everything in balance. If you look at the universe as a whole, the performance of this great creation appears to operate with absolute precision. The clockwork rotation of the earth around the sun gives rise to glorious sunrises and majestic sunsets. Although they are regular occurrences, we continue to be in awe of these gifts from the universe. The perfect features of certain people are usually deemed as beautiful. A similar conclusion would be for certain animals with coat colors in perfect harmony or with elegant stature which draws our attention. The peacock haughtily struts around self-assured flaunting the most beautiful and brilliant attire. The swan swims with grace displaying its lovely neck and high head atop. Yes, there is something quite stunning about symmetry.

What about asymmetry? Many find beauty in something less exact. If you look at some of the paintings exhibited in museums of modern art, there appears to be much asymmetry.

Even if one does not refer to the artwork as beautiful, interesting, intriguing or original are words often used to describe it. The same attributes may be offered to a human being. A prominent nose or eyes to large for a face may be regarded as attractive. In fact, such imbalance may be viewed as giving someone or something more character preferable to perfection.

Frequently, people describe beauty in visual terms. Because sight is front and center, images are our first fallback. For those of us with good vision, we forget about other senses. In fact, do not tell a visually-impaired person that they cannot see beauty. They may not be able to visualize it with their eyes but through the magic of touch. Also, they are able to appreciate the exquisite sounds of music and delicious aromas which can be defined as beauty.

How about those individuals whose vision is twenty/twenty but are hearing impaired? Their experience around lyrical sounds may appear to be one of silence, but many will remind you like their visually-impaired friends, they can feel it through the touch and vibrations beneath or around them.

Speaking of touch, what about the beauty of positive touch? Many adults and sadly some children have rarely been hugged which is the reason I offer a hug to certain people whom I know welcome it. Several years ago, I recall a scientific procedure done on monkeys. The researchers took a baby monkey and had a wired-version of the mother feed and hold the infant. The primate became extremely distressed and failed to thrive as a result of this botched experiment. Nothing can replace the authenticity of a living being whether it be a monkey or a human. The beauty revealed through a true physical exchange often cannot be put into words.

A few months ago, I wrote an article about collateral beauty for another publication. The theme was derived from the movie with Will Smith and Helen Mirren. I was so taken by the notion of collateral beauty that I devoted a section to it in my book. Several weeks ago, I presented this idea in a Toastmasters’s speech. During my evaluation, I was mildly critiqued for my lack of clarity around the meaning of collateral beauty.

Last week, I tried to elucidate by sharing my belief that the idea of collateral beauty is finding beauty around us. Each and every individual must find their own unique version. I expressed the various areas which exemplify my interpretation of beauty finishing with my belief that the greatest beauty of all is the experience of love. What could be more beautiful than to love and be loved? Nothing replaces matters of the heart as many sages have opined throughout the ages. With a treasure trove of glorious poems and quotations celebrating the beauty of love, there is a simple one which I believe captures the depth and importance of the heart. The quote comes from the Book of Samuel. On occasion, I share it with clients. Although the Bible is its source, none are ever offended because I talk about it from the position of beauty of the heart which transcends all. The quote reads as follows:

The Lord sees not as man sees;

man looks on the outward appearance,

but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Nothing can replace the perpetual

beauty of the loving heart!

How do you define beauty? Are you able to find it in simple things which we often take for granted? Do you agree that the experience of all forms of love is the greatest beauty of all? Look around as well as deep within you. As you do, notice the beauty sparkling and shining through.


Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. She is also referred to as the "Unstuck Expert" in her many roles. Why? Because for over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary roles are now Therapist, Hypnotherapist, and Author/Writer. Although she loves speaking, it is now secondary and done mainly through her podcast, "Get Unstuck Now. Because of her wealth of experience, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper.  Many of her blogs can also be found on Medium, Sixty and Me, and Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, "Stop Depriving The World of You," traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Being a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene has tried her hand at fiction, hoping to have something completed in the no-so-distant future. Over the years, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book.

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  1. A philosopher schooled me years ago on the three transcendentals—truth, goodness, and beauty—and I’ve been inspired since by their part in us living our best lives. So I find the subject of beauty, whenever approached truly holistically… well… beautiful! Thank you for this lovely piece, Darlene!

  2. Darlene, that old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” comes to mind along with the fact that the American Indians weave “mistakes” into their rugs because only God can create perfection and perfect beauty. Asymmetry is beauty in its own right. Look at how often the asymmetrical hem is the fashion rage? We cannot always define beauty because it is a secret love built on personal experience. If the secret is completely revealed it is like pulling the wings off the butterfly. Great article. Sharing.

    • Thank you so much Kat for your lovely response! I love the information about the American Indians weaving “mistakes” into their rugs because only God creates perfection & beauty. Stunning. I appreciate you sharing this. Thank you again!?

  3. Darlene, your writing in this piece has such a warming and rhythmic flow to it. I love how you refer to collateral beauty and finding the beauty around us. For me, I find it in many places; especially nature. But it is also in people – in their genuineness and their inner beauty. We are complex beings, but our complexity is part of the beauty that shines through. When we open our hearts, we open our minds, and when we open our minds, we open our eyes.