Your Say Yes to Life Weekly Motivator: Who the “Beautiful People” Are

The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.

The woman who wrote this, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, was one of the foremost medical researchers into the end of life stages. By the time she penned this quote, she had known pain and suffering both in her own life and through the countless lives her work touched as she struggled to make sense of what the dying need from the living in their final months, days, and breaths.

She was a doctor, a healer, a teacher, a researcher, and most of all a friend to those who were striving to embark upon their final transition with dignity, support, and grace.

She knew about beauty, because she lived it, lived with it, lived immersed throughout the course of her career in the essential precious fleetingness that is human life. Through her work she became quite literally steeped in the beauty of courage that is awakened within us in those first moments when we realize that yes, death really will happen to us too.

Dr. Kubler-Ross witnessed firsthand how we do rise to our own occasion, when the unthinkable thinks of us and comes to call. We do surprise ourselves with how strong, how resilient, how peaceful, how resourceful, how courageous, and yes, how beautiful, we truly are. We do amaze ourselves by how well and easily we can find gratitude for the unavoidable, peace amidst the painful, and acceptance even in the face of loss or regret.

We do look defeat, suffering, loss, and the unutterable depths that death invites right in the eye, and relatively fearlessly proceed through the Five Stages of Grief – denial, anger, bargaining, grief, and regret – not necessarily because we want to (although some of us do) but rather because we must, because that is what being human demands of us.

Dr. Kubler-Ross witnessed this, time and again, as she diligently researched and recorded the grief process that families go through during the final stages of life. She learned about beauty – true human beauty – not from the airbrushed pages of a high gloss, high fashion magazine, but from those from whom physical beauty had long since departed, leaving behind mottled hands, rattled breaths, bedpans, and dedicated caretakers who rearranged their entire lives to bring comfort and companionship to a loved one’s final days.

In every moment one of her dying patients took another labored breath, Dr. Kubler-Ross found another piece in the missing puzzle that is life. We live because we can, because we are able, because life is not just what we do but who we are, and because it is in our moments of most intense suffering when we can finally catch glimpses of our own remarkable beauty, which is the same beauty that all human beings share, and the very same beauty that gives us the willingness and the courage to wake up and try yet again.

The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.

How would your life – your experience of being you – change if you were to reframe your assessment of your own beauty in these terms?

Where have you known defeat, suffering, loss, unimaginable depths, and have exerted such superhuman courage to survive them that you are still amazed you had it in you?

Where have you experienced a seemingly endless series of insistent “I can’t’s” in your life, followed by the most unbelievable experience of “I can”?

In what ways have you survived the unsurvivable, be it the loss of a loved one, the break-up of a relationship, a job suddenly ending, a natural disaster, a mental or physical illness, an occurrence where, when you first learned of the tragedy, you thought, “I will never recover from this” – and yet here you are, still standing?

Are you….perhaps…..beautiful?

If you told your story, not knowing it was yours, would you be inspired, listening?

If you are struggling to process or progress through a painful loss or a period of suffering or questioning in your life, Southlake Counseling can help. Our compassionate, highly trained staff has more than two decades of experience with supporting people just like you through to seek a higher level of wellness, self-care, and vision for all the richness your life can hold. If you or someone you love needs support to say “no” to unresolved suffering and “yes” to a rekindled desire to live in the presence of your own wise beauty, we invite you to contact us at

Be Well,



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