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Few things pierce the human soul like beauty and tragedy. Both disrupt our daily life and introduce something profound. And both can leave us forever changed afterwards.

As it relates to beauty, certainly there are everyday beauties that comfort and feed the soul, but that don’t necessarily disrupt the course of our life.

There are then moments of profound beauty that arouse our souls to a new way of living. This might be the beauty we experienced as we discovered our true love for our wife or at the birth of our child. This might also come through the sacrificial love of a friend, the innocence of children playing, or simply great works of art – paintings, music, literature and the like.

Whatever form it takes, the beauty pierces our souls. It invites us, and no less compels us, to become better men because such things exist. Our eyes are open to new realities and we want to live worthy of the goodness we’ve witnessed.

But while beauty can be profound, it also tends to be subtle. And if we’re too distracted we can easily overlook and miss these moments.

This is not the case with tragedies.

The disruptions of tragedies are clear and evident and cannot be denied.

This might include natural disasters and wars, relational abuse and accidents that scar both body and soul. And of course the death of a loved one, especially unexpected, is also a heart-wrenching tragedy. And this tragedy of death is not limited to the physical. This might also include the death of a relationship, a dream, or an opportunity.

Again, whatever it looks like, the tragedy leaves us forever changed.

Some might question if this is true change. And, to be fair, many do return back to their old ways after the proverbial honeymoon period wears off.

But this doesn’t mean we have to question the sincerity of a person’s change just because it took a profound experience to wake them up.

Human nature is such that it often takes the profound – in the form of beauty or tragedy – to wake us up from life as usual.

In the end, learn to accept both whenever they come and let them change you for the better.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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