Recently I had a revelation: I have many times heard the old adage, "Beauty within me, beauty without me, beauty below me, beauty above me, beauty behind me, beauty in front of me". My friend who calls herself a 'WopAho' (half Sicilian, half Navajo) taught me this mantra, and I had never really understood its true meaning.
I was meditating on why I judge people so harshly, and trying to understand what in my perspective governs this. As I sat there I saw images of people I had known and looked at 'how' I saw them, did I focus on their beauty or did I focus on their shortcomings.. lo and behold, I focused on the latter. I then began to look at each person in my memory and then shift my focus to their inner beauty, the aspects of their character that make them uniquely and distinctly who they are.
AND THEN IT HIT ME
All of life is a lesson, this we know, and all of ones environment is a mirror. If all that I see outside of myself is ugly, then it is that I am only focusing on my shortcomings. To truly focus on the beauty of each person, each situation as an authentic human experience, and holy in its own right, then I am focusing on that which 'lightens' and thereby 'lightening' myself.
Beauty within me, beauty without me, beauty below me, beauty above me, beauty surrounds me. Blessed Be.