We live in a world where we have managed to convince ourselves that the value of a human being is directly proportional to its aesthetic appeal. The better one looks, the more pleasing they are to everyone around them and so we all scurry to enhance, restore and refine ourselves through makeup, accessories and even surgical procedures. We all want to be appealing; we all want to be accepted and so we invest billions of dollars every year on vitamins, supplements, weight-loss programs, health-clubs, clothes, jewelry, makeup, makeovers, liposuction, waxing, pedicures, manicures, hair-color, perms, Botox and reconstructive surgery – all in an attempt to convince those around us that we are beautiful, we belong and we are worthy of notice, love and respect. We say that beauty is only skin deep, but is it; or is it just the illusion of beauty that is only skin deep; because the illusion never seems to carry us where we really want to go. Regardless of how beautifully we may decorate our package, people still turn away in favor of the shinier, brighter, prettier packages. And regardless of how carefully we maintain our package, it still winds up damaged, broken, torn and eventually faded and irreparable. We are never good enough when we are trying to sell ourselves to others solely on the merit of our package.
But what if the true beauty lies on the inside of the package, far beyond the depth of the skin, and what if the damage that is done to our package is really what is needed to get to our true beauty? I think that geodes are highly instructive because the beauty of the geode is formed on the inside. It can take hundreds of millions of years for the space inside a geode to be filled. Over time, the hollow chamber of the geode is fed minerals which allow crystals to form inside. But the beauty of the geode is never exposed until it is cracked open. The geode must be cracked, marred and broken before its beauty can be exposed and appreciated. And isn’t that how the true beauty of a human being is discovered? Isn’t it only when we have been cracked and laid open, exposed and vulnerable that our true beauty is able to shine forth? Of course not all geodes are beautiful when opened. Perhaps the chamber has not been fed enough minerals to allow the crystals to form inside. And I suspect that the same is true for humans. If all of our energy is spent on our package, then are we feeding our inner chambers enough minerals to form beautiful crystals? We never know when we will be cracked open. For some, it happens over a long period of time – little by little with a chisel and hammer. But for others, it happens all at once as we are smashed by a force greater than ourselves. What kind of beauty will be there waiting?