Monday, March 05, 2012

MEMO TO MEN: The beauty of pain

MEMORANDUM
TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Take off your beauty mask
DATE: March 5, 2012
"Behind every beautiful thing, there's been some kind of pain."

That's a quote from a Bob Dylan song, boys. Now, don't get me started on how much I can't stand that harmonica-swinging, folksy singer, but that quote? Well, I love it. It's pretty perfect, in fact. And it's something that's been on my mind lately. We can so easily become consumed with just looking at that person that we stop taking the time to look -- really look -- at what's inside of the person standing right in front of us. Not literally inside, of course -- more like taking a closer look beyond the surface. Because I can guarantee you one thing, boys: This is where the story is. The real story, anyway, and when you think about it, the only story that really matters.

We're so quick to quiver at the mere mention of the word pain, as if its simple utterance alone has the power to hurt us. We run from it. We hide from it. We do everything in our power to escape from its mighty clutches. But we can't ever escape it -- at least not fully, anyway. And the more we rail against it and the more we shun the pain of others, the uglier we let it become. Take it from me, boys, we earn pain by living. No one who has ever lived has ever been able to go through life unscathed. It's just impossible.
It's sort of like baring our soul to another person, I suppose, this whole pain thing. We're scared, sure, but we trust that the other person isn't as scared as we are. We hope that the other person will want to get to know the pain behind our beauty. Because, really, just like all those wonderful experiences we've had, the not-so-wonderful experiences have their place in our heart too. We'd never want to relive them, of course, but they're a part of us. They've shaped us into the person we've become. Denying that -- or worse, not even acknowledging it -- is the same as not accepting the other person for who they are.

All too often, we let ourselves get scared by the littlest imperfections. At the end of the night, when the other person's beauty mask comes off, aren't we just the slightest bit curious to see what lies underneath? I've always thought it was our bruises, not our beauty marks, that made us beautiful. Something tells me I'll always see love that way. Life isn't perfect. But it can be beautiful. Are you in, boys? xoxo

[Photos via We Heart It]

23 comments:

ElsaD said...

Wow...You blow me away, yet again! Pain is part of life. I guess that in general, you cannot help how you feel, but you can interpretate the meaning of the feelings, explore the reasons, work with them and turn them into something productive. I personally think on the 'regenerational' effect of the pain: When you are in pain, you want to die, but when it's over, it's like a rebirth. Again, pain is part of life! You have to know how to deal with it, and have the spiritual and mental resources to face it and make the most out of it...Love u Melissa! xoxo

ElsaD said...

Wow..there are so many things I want to say about this post!...I believe that honesty, truth and kindness are the foundation of happiness. We can apply that to love. Without those 3 element, you wouldn't be able to enjoy a truly fulfilling relationship. And, as a close friend said to me, 'love always finds its way.'
If something doesn't fit into those 3 elements, it won't be able to give as happiness...xoxo

Kathy Schneider said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing that quote. I hadn't heard it before but you're right, it is perfect.

April said...

if there's one thing i've learned not only from experiencing it but from my communication class, it's that men tend not to be emotionally charged thinkers as us women are. men are there for what's on the surface as what my teacher called "solution-oriented" individuals whereas women want to talk about things and understand them in order to work things out. it's all frustrating to deal with when added to the fact that men tend to be clueless, so that's why i've given up on guys for the time being haha.

Giulia said...

Uh, sorry Melissa. I am trying to process that you cannot stand Dylan. Yikes.

Back later:)

Melissa Blake said...

HA, Giulia! My sister's a big Dylan fan and has been trying to get me to like him for years, but I've always found him annoying lol

Danie at Pasadya said...

Lovely post, Melissa. :) It really is so important to let go and just accept our imperfections. That's what makes life to beautiful!

Anonymous said...

The price of beauty is often pain. High heels hurt. You have to starve to fit into tight clothes. Waxing is torture. Sure, I could wear Birkenstocks, eat what I want and get as big as a house and let my pits grow. But doing so would hide my beauty. The beauty I want to show to the world. No I am not perfect. But I feel perfect when I wear my Christian Louboutins, can slink into a size 0 little black dress and my skin is waxed as smooth as silk. The envious stares I get from men and women are what makes the pain bearable.

lucia m said...

love your post!

www.aroundlucia.com
www.aroundlucia.com

Dancing Branflake said...

Goodness, you just spurred a ton of thoughts in my head about what's worth it and what's not. Great post!

Miss Caitlin S. said...

you are amazing, I love this- love, love, love this.

Beauty is definitely skin-deep.

Melissa Blake said...

Anon -- I really hope you're not serious because sadly, all those things don't make anyone perfect, you know?

amy b.s. said...

well said.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was being serious Melissa. I understand we all have inner beauty. I just want my outer beauty to match how I feel inside. I don't buy into this society bs about impossible beauty standards for women. I know plenty of women who don't care about how they look. That's their choice. It's a lot harder to be successful than a loser. And it's a lot harder to be beautiful than ugly. I don't mind going that extra mile because I feel I'm worth it.

April said...

oh get a life and get over yourself anon, seriously. it sounds like you're the only one who's impressed with yourself.

Anonymous said...

April,

No one else can be impressed/like/love us unless we can do so for ourselves. Why the personal attack? Not every girl wants to diet/exercise/wax/or put forth effort in looking beautiful or in anything else in life. I'm not saying they should. In fact, I'd rather they didn't so I wouldn't have the extra competition. The only point I was trying to make was that pain is often the price of beauty. It's not easy. Anything worth having isn't easy.

Laura said...

Hmm, if you're not a fan of Dylan than I'm not sure how you feel about Leonard Cohen, but there's a line in Anthem that I adore and your post made me think of it: "There's a crack in everything. It's how the light gets in."

Once when I was very upset about something and sobbing with mascara running and my nose running and basically just looking like a mess my husband looked me right in the eyes and told me I was beautiful. He's of course told me that on other days when I'm looking very coiffed and put together, but it really did seem to feel most important in that moment when I was so vulnerable...

April said...

you're preaching to the choir. i know the importance of self love before anyone else can love you, but as a girl that takes care of herself and takes pride in looking good (and not as my sole source of value), the pedestal you put yourself on in order to belittle other women exudes insecurity and self-consciousness. the fact that you said you'd rather not have the competition speaks volumes to that, and i'll leave it at that because there is clearly no getting through to you and it's not worth my time anyway.

Melissa Blake said...

As far as beauty goes, i was talking more about overall beauty. not necessarily outer beauty. does that make sense?

it could be your personality, your outlook on life, etc. I doesn't have to be physical beauty.

Melissa Blake said...

Laura -- I looove that line. Actually never heard it before, but it's beautiful!!

p.s. your husband is so sweet!

April said...

exactly, that's why i responded to anon the way i did, because some people seem to miss the mark and this was a post that was clearly by interior beauty--something that, even with all the exterior beauty in the world, is essential in finding love and loving yourself.

Anonymous said...

That sounds...absolutely horrible and shallow. I feel badly for you, Anon.

Carole said...

Interesting post. You might like this post about being worth it. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/im-worth-it.html

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