Is beauty tied and twisted up with love, and if not, what ultimately drives the bus, beauty or love? It’s a contested point that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We see what we wish to see, and all of that, but how do we give people a chance to prove their inherent beauty if we’re turned off by the exterior. If Khalil Gibran is in fact correct, will we recognize that light shining through if we aren’t attracted to the physical?
I met my wife online, and I had no clue what she looked like for the first whole month of our conversations. And yet I found myself drawn to her, feeling that she was beautiful throughout the series of our discourse. But that’s diametrically opposite from the way most relationships start. Let’s lay it out there. Boy meets girl and thinks, “Ooh, niiiiice,” meaning her face and/or body is high on our scale of desirability.
That makes sense because the first thing we notice about others is their appearance. We come in contact with that part of them first, at least usually. We see someone in a club, in a bar, in the Sav-a-Lot parking lot, and we can’t stop staring. Either we’re brave enough to approach them or we aren’t, but we definitely still recognize them as our “type.” That’s of course another story altogether, the idea of “diff’rent strokes for different folks,” and yet it’s been proven time and again to apply. We admire their outer beauty, so we want to get to know who they are inside.
So then, what is love? Is it that ability to appreciate someone for who they are on the inside, or is it some amalgamation of both outside and inside? If the other person has a bright enough inner light, it makes for a brilliant blaze on the outside. That’s how when you see one of the “beautiful people” with someone you think is less than attractive it still makes sense, because beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, because they can see something you don’t. And that’s just fine.
With my wife, that first month was incredible because all I knew about her was what was inside, what came through her words on a screen, and it was enough for me. I knew I was in love with her before I even knew what she looked like, so when I finally did see her it was merely the icing on the cake, so to speak. She always has been beautiful to me because of who she is, inside, and adding the outside to the equation just made it even better. It never could have taken away from what I felt because beauty isn’t skin deep. It can’t be when looked at in the simplest of ways.
Through the eyes of the heart.
P.S. – If that’s true, then the opposite is accurate as well. An ugly personality, a dark heart, changes the way we view the physical as well. Or at least it should.