First published on Medium January 20, 2020
Photo of authors’ art
Thoughts on the ugly-beautiful
I was introduced to the term ugly-beautiful recently while working through a book study, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The idea captivated me as well as offered me tremendous hope.
The ugly can be beautiful. The dark can give birth to light. Suffering can deliver grace. — Ann Voskamp
With a science/biology background, I understand very well the body and how it works. When we initially get hurt, be it a physical or psychological injury, it hurts bad. We can be knocked off our feet for a bit. However, as the healing process begins, we need to be aware of a few things.
Healing is painful, regardless
We can avoid the pain of healing by staying idle, accepting, and closing into the smaller area offered just within the pain. Or, we can agree that there will be pain involved in the healing and stretch beyond the tenderness to regain the ground lost by the initial injury.
Years ago, the treatment for injuries was often bed rest. However, soon practitioners and patients realized this caused the injury to heal in a restricted manner. Patients lost range of motion, strength, and other vital functions because they never stretched out the injury.
Today, rehab includes exercises and stretching, deep breathing, all things that stretch us back to our original pre-injury function. The process of healing always hurts. If we back away from the pain we heal restricted, confined, less flexible.
We must move through the ugly pain to regain the beauty of full function
I believe the same happens with difficult situations or traumatic events. At first, they seem ugly because they cause us so much pain. However, within that pain, there is always beauty to be found. All we need to do is stretch far enough to grasp it.