There is something I was pondering and found curious recently. We seem to be so quick to relish the beauty and perfection of nature and the natural world, and yet we are so critical of ourselves. We perceive ourselves as this flawed, separate, lacking being amidst everything and everyone outside of ourselves. Nature seems to be harmonious and peaceful, other people seem self-assured and successful. Everything and everyone else seem to have it together and yet we feel like there is something wrong with us.
We are in the business of self-depreciation and unnecessary comparisons to others. These destructive beliefs and practices are ingrained within us from the time we are born. As a result, we appear to ourselves to be imbalanced, imperfect, and erroneous. We feel as though we were born in a flawed state, like a mistake in the code of the world, a glitch in the matrix. This has all too easily been reinforced by religious and social doctrines and norms. We think of ourselves as being unworthy and imperfect in contrast to everything else. Well isn’t that a startlingly, convenient coincidence? Out of all the matter and energy dancing around our world, we perceive ourselves as the mistake, the defective, the other?
Nature appears to be harmonious and peaceful, like a hallowed realm just flowing with the sands of time, flawless and assured. Meanwhile, our inward gaze fixates on our own being with a sharp and critical prowess. We lie to ourselves. The truth is there isn’t anything wrong with us at all. We are perfect in the exact same way we perceive a sunset as perfect. There is no separation between us and the natural world, in fact, we are this natural world.
We, as in our actions, words, feelings, hopes, and dreams, are just that, a flowing, natural process as everything else. A natural process like the tranquil flowing of a stream, the gentle kiss of an ocean breeze, the sweet melodies of a forest of birds, and the glimmering light of a thousand stars. We are all a collective experience. We don’t note the flaws in the way a tree mildly sways in the wind. We don’t meticulously point out the mistakes of a snow-capped mountain reflecting the light of an evening sun. We don’t correct the chirps of a thousand crickets serenading us in the midnight air. These natural phenomena feel intuitively in place and in sync, mincing and frolicking with other phenomenon, creating a balanced, tranquil feeling that is overt and present in one’s mind upon observation.
The truth is we are an extension of all of this, all of the external beauty that we perceive. We are not a single, set apart flawed entity within this system. We are this system, and this natural environment that appears to be around us is in fact an extension of ourselves. We are a symphonic form of energy, vast, radiant, and eternal. We are an ecosystem among ecosystems. We are oceans. We are multitudes. The complexity and serenity of us can never be described by words. We are each a universe within a universe. Just as you perceive a front and a back part of a coin, you and the natural world are just that, both sides of the same phenomenon.
The beauty and value you put on the natural world is the beauty and value reflected from within yourself. The beauty and serenity of the external world is in fact a mirror of the internal world. The allure and grace of nature is not out there, it is within us, created by us, for us. Everything you love about music or poetry or family or nature is that which you love about yourself. If reality is neutral then everything we love and adore and admire about our world came from within us. We are the creators of all that we treasure. Looking out into the all-encompassing vastness of a gorgeous landscape is like staring into a mirror and recognizing the perfection within ourselves.
And it goes on and on forever. Just as this earthly environment is an extension of ourselves, the solar system is an extension of the earth, and the galaxy is an extension of that, and the observable universe is yet another extension of that, and beyond. That’s right, each of us is in fact the whole universe expressed in a single point that we perceive as here and now. Everything we love and dream of and cherish “out there” is really within ourselves.
It starts with us and it ends with us. We have the final say in how we want to construct this reality, this universe. We are the masters of our world, we are the creator of our experience, no one else is doing it for us. It seems that acceptance and responsibility for who one is are the first steps to enlightenment and fulfillment. Like so many, I am still on the road to self-acceptance and I am learning to validate my feelings and to perceive my experience as holding unconditional value. It’s hard to do because it requires a mass of unlearning from generations of bad teachings and solidified practices. I think it starts with accepting ourselves just the way we are and learning to take responsibility for our own happiness and fulfillment.
It is time we put down this self-depreciating attitude that so permeates our culture and is fed to us from an early age. It is time we understand one fundamental truth: We each hold intrinsic value and we each are deserving of love, acceptance, and respect. If you knew that you were the creator of your world and had absolutely no limitations at all, how would you proceed in conducting your universal symphony? What melodies would flow from you and permeate out into the expanse of eternity? It starts with understanding our worth, regardless of circumstances, and creating a strong foundation for growth out of love and acceptance. We are perfect and natural just the way that we are, and it is okay to accept ourselves fully and compassionately with open arms. From this loving embrace, a solid foundation can be laid for a wealth of new growth and inspiration, like laying down fresh soil for the growth of our hearts. And then, miraculously and enthusiastically, we can start to build a better life, a life that is worthy of us. ❤