It is an exercise I’ve tried time and time again and it always leaves me with a positive feeling of hope and comfort. Try to imagine what a person would look like in a perfect world, in a world free from old age, disease or deformity. Try to see that person just as he or she was designed by God in the first moment of creation, when everything was at its best and the worm of decay hasn’t started its destructive work yet.
Rather than seeing a person as the result of external circumstances, try to visualize their ideal prototype, to see them as they would be if none of those circumstances had occurred. Imagine what that person would look like in an ideal world. No wrinkles, no overweight, no scars, no makeup, no tiredness, no worries in their eyes.
You will notice that with some persons it’s very easy. With others, it takes a bit of effort and imagination. That is because some people are closer to their prototype than others. Some will make the task almost impossible, while others are so close to their natural unaltered charm that imagination has to play a minimum role.
Discovering the beauty behind any makeup and decay – the essence behind appearance – is relaxing and therapeutic. It’s like filtering everything and everyone through your own conscience and what remains is that little something that makes every person beautiful and unique – the sparkle of life, the real thing, their evasive but true spiritual profile.
Sometimes you have very little to work with. You have to recreate that image, like an artist, out of bits and fragments: a trembling smile, a soft look on somebody’s face, a sparkle in their eyes. Any of these isolated elements can become a key to that person’s beauty shining from inside.
My own experience has taught me that it helps if you have a brief glance at a person, then turn your eyes away and focus on the image printed on your retina. The features become sweeter, the lines softer, and you can visualize a sort of aura that you miss when you look squarely into that person’s face.
In a way you restore something reality has stolen. You put back a softness often lost in too much detail. It’s an artistic work, like that of a great painter trying to capture the essence of the human soul on canvas. Only this time the canvas is your mind.