Beauty the Heart Can Feel

Beauty is not considered an emotion,1 yet we experience it from a sequence or mix of pleasant emotions.

  • The eyes see the attractive object,
  • the ears hear the vocal harmony,
  • the nose smells the fragrant perfume,
  • the tongue tastes the gourmet flavor,
  • the fingers touch the smooth softness.

These sensations give us pleasure, but it is when we engage the heart that we feel the beauty in the sensations.

Can your heart feel the beauty in this picture drawn by a child?

Photo by William M. Connolley
Photo by William M. Connolley | Source

Designer Richard Seymour,2 in his TED talk about our responses to beauty, showed a very basic stick figure of a flower to the audience. He asked whether they thought it was beautiful.

He could see that they thought and felt nothing beautiful about the drawing, for while they looked, he remarked, “There's some rather bored-looking gentlemen and some slightly engaged-looking ladies . . .”

Then Seymour added, “This is the last act on this Earth of a little girl called Heidi, five years old, before she died of cancer to the spine. . . Is it beautiful now?” They obviously felt something and at least one individual began to cry.

When we feel the beauty, our response is physiological. As Seymour points out, that response is not always beautiful to look at. We stare with mouths open, eyebrows lifted and eyes bulging. We may even tear up while we smile. There is a parade of emotions inside us begging us to feel, and when the heart feels beauty, the look of beauty is not our main concern.


Helen Keller on Beauty

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

What do you think was on Helen Keller’s list of the “best and most beautiful things in the world?” She was blind and deaf, but she could touch; still, she excluded tangible objects, making it clear that her emphasis was beauty of intangibles we can only feel—with the heart.

So what type of beauty do we allow ourselves to feel? Beautiful things happen around us all day, and of the ones we notice, we may simply say, “That’s beautiful.” That quickie, automatic recognition of beauty hardly benefits us. It’s like calling Heidi’s stick flower beautiful, but missing the real beauty of innocence and courage that it represents.

When we move beyond the visual as Keller suggested, what do we have left on our list of beauty we can feel?

Can your heart feel the beauty beyond what your eyes see here?

Photo by MsDora
Photo by MsDora | Source

Can you feel the beauty in scenarios like the following?

  • The beauty of belonging in a toddler running to greet his dad returning home from work;
  • The beauty of empathy in a child’s tears when he reports that his sibling is hurt;
  • The beauty of kindness when the neighbor offers one cucumber from his garden;
  • The beauty of courage in a family who props up each other through a series of ordeals;
  • The beauty of hospitality when we offer lunch to the homeless.

Feeling the beauty allows the memory to last longer, and the impact to settle deeper. Throughout the day, we do allow some negative feelings in our hearts; how might our day be different if we lingered long enough to feel the beauty of values and emotions—things that cannot be seen or touched except by the heart?

Can your heart feel the beauty of fearlessness?

Photo by LWelling
Photo by LWelling | Source

Beauty We Can Feel

We can see beauty on a smiling face

Or on a red rose kissed by morning dew;

We can hear beauty in a melody

Sung by a favorite artist famed or new;

We can touch beauty on a baby’s skin

And smell the oil poured on his tender heel;

None of these beauties stored outside us can

Match within us, the beauty we can feel.


Verse Two

We can feel beauty even in the midst

Of life that’s filled with mess and ugliness;

For inner beauty shapes our sanity,

And wanting not to boast, instead we bless.

Admirers see what sincere beauty does,

When pressures try to throw us off our keel;

It keeps the faith and focus in our stride,

So what they see is beauty that we feel.


© by Dora Isaac Weithers

Beauty of Resilience

My family members invited me to an outing. There were great odds, mainly mental and emotional, that made it seem easier for me to opt out. However, when the discouraging feelings subsided, I decided to go and the event turned out to be a real treat.

A few days later, my response to seeing my picture at the event was, “I feel beautiful.” It surprised me too.

My confession had nothing to do with the way I looked; it had to do with the memory of what I was feeling at the time of the picture, compared with the distress I could have felt otherwise.

It was a beautiful feeling—the kind of beauty the heart feels when the positive defeats the negative in the struggle within us. I felt the beauty of resilience.

The good feeling inspired the poetic attempt in the adjacent column.


One Last Word

According to Francis Bacon, English philosopher and author, “The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express."

The video "How Beauty Feels" at the end this article gives an explanation which is worth watching.

If you neglect the feel of beauty, you neglect the best part. The beauty that one heart feels does not have to feel beautiful to any other heart. It is a unique experience.

Let your heart feel the beauty. Enjoy the peace, relaxation and joy which accompanies the feeling.

How Beauty Feels (Highly Recommended)

References

1. Armstrong, Thomas et al: CiteSeerx, Beauty as an Emotion: The Exhilarating Prospect of Mastering a Challenging World, Abstract, Copyright The Pennsylvania State University, 2007-2014

2. Seymour, Richard: TED Transcript, How Beauty Feels, October 2011.

© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers

More by this Author


Comments 42 comments

word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Wonderful hub on beauty. Beauty is feeling good because bills are getting paid. Thank you MsDora for sharing :-)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

This piece in and of itself is beautiful and touches my heart. From Heidi to your poem it is a case in point on beauty. Great photos to go with it. Thank you for starting my week out so wonderfully.


gingerka profile image

gingerka 2 years ago from Colorado

You have some very good points. Sometimes we lose our joy and wonder how to get it back. This would be a good way to start.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

You've summed up the beauty in our heart here beautifully, Ms. Dora. I loved the story about Heidi and the paradigm shift that followed the story behind the picture. You're looking good on that outing!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Your introduction and example was powerful. Great subject, and much food for thought here my friend. Great write!


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

This, in fact, is beautiful because you convey the emotions of all sorts of feelings which inspire us and make us appreciate the world around us, how others feel and what all those feelings mean.

You have expressed this theme so well, in fact whilst reading I experienced the beauty of what you said, of the pictures you showed us and of parts of my life that your words evoked.

Up ++ and shared. Thank you for making my day more beautiful!

Ann


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, that is a very beautiful thought. Thanks for your contribution.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, thank for your very kind comment. This is shared beauty right here.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Gingerka, thanks for reading and making such a wise observation. You gave me an idea.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Peg. You always encourage me. I appreciate you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Bill. When you find my article pleasing, I get a good (and beautiful) feeling.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ann, your comment is very encouraging. It makes me feel that writing is progressing along the path of my purpose. Thank you also for contributing to my beautiful day!


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

MsDora, I can feel a beauty which comes from your writing, something which is very difficult to achieve unless it comes from within. You look great in the image too MsDora:)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Dora, I always feel good reading your hubs this is hub of the day in my book bravo


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

A beautiful hub, Dora. The story about the little flower drawing was so touching. I believe at times there is beauty in sadness, just as that story shows.

I woke up feeling rather melancholy. Thanks for uplifting me before another moment passed.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

An extremely 'beautiful' piece. So well written, so inspirational, and yes, it deserves repeating, so 'beautiful! I saw Light in ALL the pictures, and the kiddy one was so cute. I dare say the slim-looking woman with her lovely hat and taking a stroll, was extremely .... well, lets change, wonderful, too.

Permit me to say that you've grown as an artist and a poetess too. Such a sweet poem! Very touching and filled with love. Om Shanti! (Our Lord's Peace to you)

P.S. I wanted to share with you, as one of my dearest Friends, here on Hub Pages, that I finally got around to filling in the Earnings thing. I made $00.03 and then $00.16 a couple of days later. Great fun! Isn't it, my Sweet!


m abdullah javed profile image

m abdullah javed 2 years ago

Hi MsDora, beautiful hub filled with beautiful expressions. Thanks for sharing. The most touchy part comprise of heart-touching instances. I think the beauty of one's character is far more powerful than anything else. So when it comes to describing one's personality, our expression seems to be hollow as it lacks proper words of appreciation. Great write. Thanks again.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

Even if there were no pictures in this hub, it would be beautiful because of the descriptions you provide and the emotions it evokes. Great job!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sweet Sally, thank you very much. You surely know how to boost my beauty-feel. I appreciate your encouragement.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Frank, so glad my writing has that effect on you, and thanks for the accolade.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Lori, the day gets better as it wears on. Feel the beauty in whatever uplifts you. Be cheerful, lovely lady!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Manatita, your observation about my growth is very encouraging. Coming from a Master Poet, your words mean a lot to me. Congratulations on your giant step into HP wealth. Look how you've already improved more than 300% in such short time!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Muhammad, thanks for your contribution. Glad that you found the article beautiful. I'm happy when readers like you are pleased with my effort.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Sheila, I appreciate your encouraging feedback.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Such beautiful writing; Dora. I believe our hearts can see past the beauty and that is the thrill of it. Our hearts seeing past our eyes. Well, that is what your writing says to me. :) ^+


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

MsDora, such insight into true beauty and the feelings it evokes in our hearts. I have many crayon pictures drawn by my darling grandchildren, and they evoke so much love and beauty each time I look at them, and the feeling of beauty that fills my soul when I think of each one of them. You have encapsulated beauty so well here. I love your photos, especially of the one where you feel beauty!

Voted up ++++ tweeting, pinning and sharing

God bless you.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I try to see the beauty in most of my day. A natural way of life to observe individually. A beautiful hub with such a great mind shared here.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

What a "beautiful" hub MsDora. You captured the true essence of beauty here. Love your poem and the photos. Voted up.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jackie, sometimes our hearts can see "more than" our eyes can see, and that's when we see and feel real beauty. Thanks for your input.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Faith. Those crayon pictures of your grandchildren will become more beautiful with the years. Enjoy them.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Devika, you're usually very positive, and that spirit attracts beauty. Thanks for your contribution.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Jodah. Especially glad that you like my poem.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Some of the most precious memories I have involve handmade items my little one made long ago. You captured the reasons why here.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Yes Flourish, it's because your heart feels the beauty. Thank you for sharing.


Doris Dancy profile image

Doris Dancy 2 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

MsDora ~ Your hub on beauty is one of the reasons why I LOVE hub pages. Every time we come to this place to visit, we are touched with words from the heart that do bring us such beauty. Your contribution here will long be remembered because of its sincerity, its honest, and its invitation to see behind the eyes. Thank you. Voted up!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Doris, you're so sweet and kind. You also add to the heartfelt beauty of HubPages. I appreciate the encouragement from HubFriends like you. Thank you.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Your thoughts on this topic are so beautiful! I found this beauty in our family during my sister's recent death. It causes you to have hope. Thanks for the inspiration. God bless you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Teaches, sorry for your loss, and am glad that you have the memory of this kind of beauty, plus the memory of good times with your sister. Thank you so much for sharing.


mothersofnations profile image

mothersofnations 2 years ago

I absolutely love this article! Yes, beauty is so much more than just what something appears to be on the outside. Beauty truly does come from within and no outside can replace what's inside. This article is very touching. God bless you, Ms.Dora...


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Mothers, good to hear from you. You are one of those who understand true beauty. Thanks for your kind feedback.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

There is still a lot of beauty in this fallen, troubled world. Thanks for reminding us.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ologsinquito, thanks for sharing your very valuable observation.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working