There’s a bottle of “Nu Finish” car polish stored underneath the kitchen sink. Although I don’t use it on the car, I use it on various old plastic items around the house to make them look newer and to protect them.
As I applied a small dab of the polish to a vintage acrylic watch crystal, the topic of renewal in relation to impermanence came to mind. Every thing from the smallest particle to the largest galaxy has a life-span. Every human being is impermanent. A common concern among us humans is prolonging our lifespans. We want to live long lives with as little suffering as possible.
I think it would be great if there was an organic “polish” we could apply to make us look brand-new and to protect us from harmful elements. Not only would it keep us looking fresh, but it would work from the outside-in to renew our senses of wonder, curiosity, purpose, empathy, hope, and joy. In the same way that the “Nu Finish” removes the watch crystal’s scuffs and imperfections, the human equivalent would renew our clarity.
All of us have endured turmoil and many challenges. Those times tested our mettle and caused us to question whether life is worth it or not. Although we can put on a happy face, sometimes we feel jaded and want to withdraw for awhile. Like the acrylic watch crystal, we’ve taken a few hard knocks that have left us scuffed and scarred.
We’ve been tempted to crumble but somehow managed to recoup to live another day. Our ability to communicate our concerns, and love has been protected, just as the watch’s hands and dial have been protected by that scratched-up crystal. When we’ve confronted challenges we could feel like giving up or stand firm against opposition.
Perhaps we found some type of renewal in religious belief, philosophy, meditation, walking in nature, or some other practice that helps us to protect ourselves. There is a certain something that restores our energy and brings us great joy.
We have learned that it is helpful to renew ourselves by clearing away clouded perceptions and healing our scars by cleansing ourselves of resentment and entitlement. The renewal enables our hands to communicate generosity, kindness, and love. The sparkle and shine that has always been a part of us, inside and out, has been revealed again by the renewal of the sense of self and connection to the rest of the Universe.
One of the beauties of renewals is that we feel that anything is possible. We feel uplifted to the point that we allow ourselves to aspire, dream, and elevate our attitudes. The clarity shows us what it means to reach for the stars.
When we pause to contemplate renewal, we understand that renewal entails cleaning away deception, limiting beliefs, and façades. In addition to being more authentic, we become open to growth, new ideas, and more compassionate ways of observing life and people around us. This clarity enables an open heart that is generous and accepting.
Until we discover a special polish to apply that will cause such personal integrity, we can always resort to caring for ourselves. Explore philosophy, spiritual practices, contemplating nature, or whatever nurtures you and reconnects you with your inner nature.
It’s good to renew ourselves from time to time.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes former Cabinet member to Presidents Nixon and Ford, Elliot Richardson. “If there are flaws they are in ourselves, and our task therefore must be one not of redesign but of renewal and reaffirmation, especially of the standards in which all of us believe.”