Beautiful Souls

What if we saw a person’s soul as easily as their outward appearance?

What if we, for lack of a better term, judged a person on their soul rather then their face?

I’ve met some beautiful people with ugly souls and average people with beautiful souls. And maybe that’s what makes them beautiful – the fact that they’re humble in their ways. Sometimes they have low self-esteem or low confidence. Sometimes they don’t think they’re worth much or are just quiet individuals. Sometimes they don’t realize they’re more, much more, then they think. Sometimes they lend a hand not for the praise or glory, but for the sake of helping another. Of course there’s many ways for a person to have a beautiful soul, but most times they don’t even know they’re beautiful.

The soul is a person’s most inner being. It’s every part of them – good and bad. It’s dreams and doubts, hopes and fears, things they don’t normally show other. It’s all sides of them. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to see at first. To truly know a person’s soul we must get to know them.

We can be just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. And I believe what they say is true – what’s on the inside really does matter. After all, when we age our looks fade and all we have left is the person we are inside.

The Beauty of an Aftershow

The night air is cold, but not yet cold enough where you can see your breath. (But what did we all expect on a February night? Even if the high for the day was 60 degrees.)

Stars shine above like little spotlights aimed at the earth below.

Everyone is standing around the clock tower, waiting, and it’s one of the biggest aftershow crowds I’ve seen.

And then Jon appears at the bottom of the hill, coming toward us with his trusty guitar and harmonica. Once again, he still has a few more songs left in him.

He doesn’t do them every night. He wants them to feel special, not like something that’s expected. So when there are still notes bursting to escape into the night, he’ll set them free.

At every aftershow I’ve been to it’s always amazed me how music has the power to gather together complete strangers. Of course people come with their friends, maybe a family member, but it’s the people they met that night, the connections they make, that’s equally as amazing. In that moment everyone is strung together by a single bond – music.

And that’s the beauty of an aftershow.

Always

I’m no expert on love, but I believe that when we truly love a person we love them for all that they are – good and bad.

We love them for their good qualities as well as their flaws.

We love them through the good times as much as we love them during the rough times.

When we truly love someone, I believe that we’d walk through fire and go to hell and back for them.

When we truly love someone, I believe we love them no matter what.

We love them always.

Forget Fear, Take A Risk

“But remember: in any worthwhile endeavor there’s risk involved. Fall in love, fight for something you believe in, or paddle out on a day that scares you — the risk is always there. But perhaps the greater risk is to live out these shallow lives, running from our fears and dreams.”  – Jon Foreman

About two year ago I wrote a post entitled A Beautiful Life Full of Risk. It was inspired by an essay I had read at the time – Madness and the Crayfish Factory by Jon Foreman. In a nutshell, my post discussed fear and how it can cripple us, but that anything worth doing will most likely hold some level of fear and risk. This, however, shouldn’t stop us from living. (I also encourage you to read A Beautiful Life Full of Risk.)

Now, here I am, two years later, reading that post over again and thinking how not much has changed. There’s still a fear in this world that works to tie us down and hold us back. There’s still a fear in this world that works as hard in the good places as it does in the bad. We’re still afraid to take chances, to make mistakes, to fall in love, to venture out on our own, to break the mold of the everyday and to simply live.

Fear doesn’t discriminate. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t care about your sex, race, gender or background. If it wants you, it will find you, and it will dig its claws into your flesh. It will live inside you and feed off you. Eventually, if we don’t fight it, I believe it will become a part of us.

I’ve watch fear take hold of people. I’ve watched as they’ve been afraid to really gain a life of their own (as they still live in the past), afraid to move on, afraid to love and be loved, afraid to live. The sad part is, life still lives inside them and, every now and again, you see it break free. The worst part is that no one can help them and they must be the ones to help themselves.

For me, I’ve taken my own advice. I’ve taken risk after risk after risk. I’ve taken chances with my career(s) and now am in a place where I’m happy. (Although, there’s a much longer road to travel and there was an even longer road to get to where I am today.) I’ve fallen in love. After so many horrible experiences I choose to let someone special in and ended up falling in love. (And although scary at first, it’s one of the most beautiful, wonderful feelings.) I’ve started stepping outside the box in many aspects of life and really living. I thought I was living before, and I was, but there were so many things I was missing out on and didn’t even know it.

That’s why I say – forget fear and take a risk. It might not always work out in your favor, but it’s better then wondering “what if” and missing out on something wonderful. So take a chance, go on an adventure, fall in love…simply live.

What We Want

“In life you don’t always get what you want.”

That’s one of the saddest statements I’ve heard in a long time. Not because of its truth, but because of the situation surrounding it and the fact that I know the person who spoke these words so well.

Yes, in life we don’t always get what we want. That’s simply a fact of life, but it doesn’t mean we stop fighting. It doesn’t mean we give up, roll over and die. If we want something, then, it’s important to us. If it’s important, then, we should keep working for it, keep fighting for it.

I don’t have it all figured out, but, for the most part, I know what I want out of life. Maybe our wants change over time. Maybe they stay the same. For me, they’ve always been about the same – a career I love, a man who will respect and love me as much as I’ll respect and love him and to simply enjoy all the beauties and all the pleasures of life.

No one ever said life was going to be easy or painted in black and white. In fact, life is messy and full of gray areas. Maybe these gray areas are where we have to make decisions. Maybe the messy places are where the colors burst through. Maybe all this is the beauty of life.

We may not always get what we want, but that doesn’t mean we stop striving.