Relative Beauty: 365ideas4change Number 61

Beauty_Page_1Love sees beauty where the world sees ugly

A cruel bumper sticker says that “Beauty is only skin deep. Ugly goes all the way through”. In reality, ugly is superficial.

Judging a book by its cover is easier than reading the book. Snap assessments release us from the responsibility of making an effort to understand someone. We are obsessed by beauty and repulsed by ugly. What is beautiful to one may be ugly to another. We flail about in a whirlpool of opinion, judgement and criticism.

When we Love, we know that within a stark field of blackened burnt grass stalks, brilliant green sprouts of new growth lie dormant, waiting to emerge. In the bulbous and disfigured contraction of an old cooper’s hands, thousands of barrels stand ready to serve.

Love knows that in the fallen trunk of a tree, a red-golden angel waits to be carved from the wreckage. In the bald head of a recovering cancer patient, Love sees the potential for a thicker crop of glorious tresses.

Beauty and ugly are subjective, until we Love.

Extract from “Reflections on Love Reflections on Life”, available from

About Julie Courtnage

With training in environmental science, I facilitate 'naked conversations' about sustainable wellbeing. Using facilitation techniques, systems thinking, art, music, writing, movement and photography, we explore the active creation of our uniqueness - personal and collective, as individuals, organisations and society - and our relationships with others, with sustainable wellbeing, and with genuine happiness. This journey of creation is a journey of Love. And fun.
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