Last year our beloved home on Quisenberry Lane got a massive renovation. We reframed a room, got new siding, installed a metal roof, replaced all of the windows, and painted the house my favorite shade of blue. The foreman was an architect and engineer. He had incredible vision and some great ideas for our domestic face-lift.
The only problem was that he didn’t live here, didn’t always fully understand the conscious and unconscious ways we exist in this space. Every house has a flow, rooms that reveal their true purpose only years after you’ve moved in. Our dining room has no table, only two comfy upholstered chairs, bookended by guitar stands, and an enormous picture window. The mudroom has morphed into our coffee, meditation, early morning snuggle couch space. According to the foreman, our laundry room is in the wrong place. The garage is too small. And doesn’t the master bath need another walk-in closet? He said it was wasteful to do so much work on the exterior and not remedy all of the things inside.
That’s where he’s wrong. The exterior is the house, but the interior is the home. It’s just like our bodies. The exterior surface sometimes needs to be overhauled. We have to do occasional maintenance to keep our physical bodies durable, weather-proof. My own bag of bones likes blonde highlights and strong muscles and a kickass pedicure to feel like it can withstand Life’s heartaches and hardships. But it’s inside where we build our true home. We too often focus on appearance. We look for an architect to fix us, when our body is already a temple, a holy house of prayer. We mistakenly believe that if the outside looks perfect, that perfection transfers internally. But it’s the other way around. When we intentionally choose happiness, kindness, and peace, our exterior glows. When we have serenity at our core, it makes us visibly beautiful. A peaceful heart translates to compassionate words and deeds and a mouth that cannot help but smile in delight at all of our good fortune. Roald Dahl reminds us that “a person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”. Genuine beauty doesn’t lie in thin thighs or a wrinkle-free face. It lies in a heart at peace.