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  • H.D. Lee

The Beauty Inside


The Beauty Inside is a short film from 2012 that tells the story of Alex, who is a different person each day, literally. Well, on the outside at least. Fat, skinny, Asian, Black, White, man, woman, young, and old. Alex has been them all. Alex remains the same person on the inside, but his changing face and body is not something he believes he can share with others. He therefore leads a life with no meaningful relationships; that is, until he meets a woman with whom he really wants to share the truth. Curious about what happens next? I will leave it to you to watch the film and see how this story unfolds.


I realized this story touched something deep within me when I was telling my daughter about it last weekend. Its metaphor, which admittedly is mine, is that who we are on the inside is in one sense eternal in comparison to who we may be on the outside. Of course, I am talking about who we truly are and not the ephemeral and ever-evolving aspects of our self. Nor am I talking about the status we may achieve through our profession, or the roles we play in our families or communities. What is true about us can only be perceived indirectly through the roles, statuses, and personas we play with or hold.


More impactful though was the other side of this metaphor, which (re)awakened my longing for home in the most profound sense possible as I was watching the film. The metaphor is this: while whoever loves us may be different at different times in our life, the source of this love is always the same. As Rumi relates in his poem Currency “Those who belong with me know I am the value these forms are tokens of”.


Yes, the Source of love is but one. It is through the constant changes in our lives that we are able to more fully experience this Source and the love from whence it comes. As love is constantly and continuously being expressed through the different people, situations, and surroundings of our lives from this Source, the only question is are we aware enough to perceive and touch in on this love. For clarity’s sake, I want to say that this love is one that is all encompassing, wholeness-making, and enlightening. In other words, it is unconditional love. To me, it is through unconditional love that we are able to see the beauty inside. My question for you is: is this true for you? Have you given unconditional love a chance to see the beauty that you need to see within and in others?

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