TBI Survivor Blog Series 2021

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Photo by France Theriault


For as long as I can remember I have loved beauty.
I always wonder why beauty is such a prerequisite in my life.
What does it feel like when my heart is touched by beauty? Perhaps it’s my soul that vibrates when I encounter beauty. I respond positively to vibrant colours, I love to feel textures as I engage my tactile senses in new discoveries, creative & unique objects steal my heart over high-end items.
As soon as my eyes catch beauty amongst the selection of visual stimuli my whole body relaxes and I am overjoyed that I had the privilege to witness it. I feel alive, joyous, vibrant and grateful when I discover paintings and sculptures that create sparkles in my whole being. Aesthetically pleasing elements, refined details offer simplicity and perfect harmony in me and around me.
Beauty comforts my soul, it connects me to my senses, it unites my whole being. Beauty is a necessity in my life just like I need air to be alive. After having a Traumatic Brain Injury, beauty became an ardent forceful attraction. I became a beauty seeker, an avid epicurean of beauty.
When travelling I love to notice the building’s architectural details. The shapes, the curves and the details carved in the stone that ornate buildings to give a pleasing view is also a representation of a time period that no longer exists, giving me information about the essence of that Epoque.
My love affair with beauty is one of the reasons why I love people and human connection. I am sensitive to their inner beauty. A benevolent smile touches my heart, eye contact with someone who sees me and acknowledges my presence is a beautiful gesture that pleases me. Small acts of kindness and attention toward someone else are also part of the beauty I noticed.
A few years ago, I was walking in an outdoor labyrinth surrounded by mature trees. As I walked along the path I saw objects that embellished my experience. Colourful crystals and stones, as well as sculptures, were placed along with the irregular network of passages.  Moving in harmony with my breath, slowly connecting with myself, I was in perfect communion with nature.
At some point in my exploration, I noticed a ceramic butterfly nailed on a tree. I felt attracted to touch it, slowly I started to trace the contour of the ceramic insect. I closed my eyes, I felt the intricacy of this object as I engaged with all my senses. 
All of a sudden I heard “Do you know why you love beauty?
Why is beauty so important in your life? 
You like beauty because you have so much beauty inside of you. I was in awe of this unexpected revelation.
Was I dreaming? Who was talking to me?
Other people were ahead of me or at a fair distance behind me. No one else was close to me and all of us were there in this space in silent communion. 
Tears are rolling down my face. I realized I heard something not present to the ear, it was I assume a whisper from my soul. I was relieved to discover a secret that was long kept from me… 
You see, for many years my love affair with beauty has been ambiguous.
I am/was always extremely sensitive to all forms of beauty but I invariably felt guilty to indulge in my needs and desires. I believed I had to justify myself or ignore my true self in order to merge into someone else.
My impulse to listen to my emotions, to connect with my heart, to shed layers, to open my soul to see the beauty in me was the first few steps towards my journey into my inner beauty. Since then I have been looking more closely at the treasures I have been taking for granted and as they unfold in my daily life I am observing their magnificence.
What is your relationship with beauty? 
Is it essential in your life? 
What are the inner beautiful traits you see in yourself and in others?
Exploring the beauty and acknowledging the importance or non-importance in your life is a starting point in your self-discovery journey to your heart.
May you celebrate with reverence all forms of beauty in your life.
France Theriault
*You can follow me on Instagram at Standingbyyourside65 where I share inspirational stories, sharing insights of living a beautiful & meaningful life 8 years after having a Traumatic Brain Injury from a cycling accident.



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