Beauty and Sorrow

Beauty and Sorrow

I recently heard the epiphany that beauty can’t exist without sorrow. At first glance, this idea seemed shocking and maybe not quite right. But the more I thought about it, the more I could see the truth of beauty and sadness intertwined everywhere.

Nothing beautiful lasts. A sunset is gone in minutes. A flower fades and dies after it’s bloom. In all of.. life, death is wrapped up inside it. When a perfect baby is born, death is also birthed. In thinking about this idea, I couldn’t help but see these patterns and connections in motherhood which may give us the ultimate viewpoint of beauty and sorrow.


Motherhood is full of firsts and lasts. Both are unpredictable and sudden. The firsts are anticipated with joy and excitement. When will they take their first step? And then one day, they just do. And on and on the firsts continue. Soon they are talking, reading, riding a bike… These beautiful things we love to love. But tied up in them, is the loss of them.

The lasts are harder because you don’t know its a last until it doesn’t ever happen again. Its that beauty and sorrow connection. It is the goal of parenting for your kids to move on, grow up, change and be who they are meant to be. But at each stage there is a grief of sorts for what once was, and will never be again.

I have felt many of these bittersweet changes. The last story in the rocking chair with a toddler in my lap, the last cuddles in my bed early in the morning, the last carry a sleeping child in from the car ride, and many more besides.

The Waves

It hit me again this morning that I may be nearing another last. The first warm-ish day we’ve had in months came, which begged us to venture out to the park. My oldest said good-bye to park days long ago, but Middlest and little W wanted to go.

It was a Friday, so most kids were in school (we don’t do school on Fridays). The park was full of my past life, moms with toddlers, babies, and pre-schoolers. It hit me suddenly that this was my past and not my present. With little W at 9 years old, taller than anyone else there that morning, and Middlest, looking like the teenager he has now become.

Is this it? I thought. Could this be one of our last times they want to run and play together at the park?

I tell you this because I think its important to recognize the moments in our lives when change is occurring. And furthermore, our feelings about those changes and any grief that rises up. It was rising up in me. But not in a terrible wave, just that gentle soaking of the feet in the tide… here it comes, it’s happening again. The beauty and the sorrow holding hands.

Sometimes the waves are bigger, and I really miss my babies. It’s just part of being a Mom. The Summer before last, (when we all stayed in) I made my first ever quilt. And not just any quilt. I used the saved and cherished baby clothes for this project, so that whenever I miss my babies, I can get it out and have something to hold on to.

For me, this was healing and it’s own sort of grief. It’s an acknowledgement of what was, and that beautiful entanglement joy and sorrow share. I couldn’t have what I have without the waves. The fading of the beauty is sometimes what makes it so beautiful, the simple fact that it won’t last forever.

So what does this have to do with the enneagram?

Learning your enneagram number is only the beginning. It is both beauty and sorrow to see plainly who you are. And some things need to pass away for other things to bloom and grow. Once you see the patterns that have brought you to where you are today, it’s time for a wave of change in your life.

You find the path of growth through being honest with yourself. Embracing what has been your life, and looking forward to what you want for yourself comes next.

The enneagram is a great example of this beauty and sorrow phenomenon. It is always present, always cyclical, always moving. Recognizing a truth in ourselves that needs to change leads us to a wave of change that allows for that part of us to fade away. Moving into new patterns is another wave we catch.

It is my hope that you can truly see yourself in beauty and see the things in your life that aren’t healthy anymore. Let go of those things that aren’t serving the kind of life you desire.

Embrace the patterns of beauty and sorrow as they show up in your life and spread inspiration as you travel this journey.

Grab this overview of all 9 enneagram types below:

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