you are more beautiful than you think

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I spent most of Monday afternoon avoiding the media and any media images of the bombings at the Boston Marathon this week, because truly, how much more can we absorb?  When I finally clicked on CNN.com to look at the images and read the stories yesterday evening, even though I'd steeled myself for the worst, I was still horrified. 

I'm just so tired of being shaken by the news, aren't you?

Luckily, within minutes of seeing the images and reading the stories, my friend Alice shared this Facebook status update by comic Patton Oswalt -- a status that went insanely viral within 3 hours of his publishing it.  The entire thing is worth a read,  but it is this section in particular which moves me:

You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out ... This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.  But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak.

Exactly this.  And I keep coming back to these words as the stories of this tragedy continue to come in.

Then later, and completely unrelated, my sister sent me this incredibly thought-provoking 3-minute video on self-image that I have to share.

Lovely message, isn't it?

So, today, I encourage you to spend a little time in peace, preferably somewhere where you can watch people come and go:  on your front stoop, say, or at your favourite coffeehouse, like I spent most of my morning (shown in the image at the top of this post).  Look at the faces of those who cross your path (if they catch you doing so, just smile at them.  They could probably use the smile). 

And as you do this, spend some time with the realization that in the end, you -- and almost everyone, really -- are far more beautiful than you think.

~  With warm thoughts and prayers to all who were affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.