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Aaron2016

Unable to Appreciate Beauty - Just a Glance?

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Aaron2016

Whenever I see something beautiful I get a strange urge to look away almost immediately.  It's like I can't allow myself to appreciate anything beautiful for longer than 1 or 2 seconds. e.g. A beautiful landscape, a Christmas tree, the clouds changing shape in the sky, watching the end of a sunset.  The list goes on.  Does anyone know why I can't appreciate beautiful things for longer than a few seconds and do you experience the same thing?  I tried to work out why this is, and my first impression was that I subconsciously think I don't deserve to see such beauty because I feel I haven't earned it, and then again, it could be that I am trying to stop any emotional outburst or feeling of nostalgia for the past, and so I can't compel myself to admire beautiful scenery etc for too long because it might become too overwhelming and evoke an emotional response, and so I instinctively turn away in order to stop any outburst of emotion before it happens.

Any ideas why primarily natural beauty (scenery) has such a powerful effect?  So powerful that I can't even look at it?  I can't even appreciate the dazzling glow of a Christmas tree.  After 1 - 2 seconds my mind just says 'that's long enough' and I force myself to look away.  What gives?  It's got to the point that I just take photographs of everything beautiful so that I won't be put in that situation, but it sadly makes the photographs feel empty and hollow because there was no emotional attachment made when I took them.  The trick is to appreciate what I am seeing at the same time I am taking the photos, but I have a habit of not appreciating what I am photographing.

 

 

Edited by Aaron2016
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Daughter of the Nine Moons

I'm not going to try and psychoanalyze you here,  I'm not qualified to do that and I would take it with a grain of salt if any one does so on the internet. What I will say though is that I think everyone deserves beautiful things and the enjoyment of beautiful things in their life.

There is no set time limit that you must enjoy something. If it does bother you though and want to learn to appreciate a beautiful view or experience maybe try looking at little bits of something so it doesn't overwhelm you all at once

Example: early morning at the lake. When your get overwhelmed close your eyes for a few moments take a few deep breaths. Open then and don't try to look at everything all at once. Maybe look at the mist on the water. Or listen to the quick splash that tells you a fish popped up to catch a fly. Look at the rings spreading out on the water. Close your eyes and breath deeply. Maybe take note of the smells. The earthy woodsy smells. Open them and maybe notice that the light is changing it's getting brighter. Close your eyes when ever you need to and take a breath. Stop if it feels to much.

Also it doesn't have to be big things. You can look to appreciate beauty in everyday things

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XenoFish

Natural beauty can often invoke/evoke strong emotions, are you perhaps afraid of those kinds of feelings? 

Edited by XenoFish
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GlitterRose

Probably just overstimulation from the light. 

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littlebrowndragon
3 hours ago, Aaron2016 said:

Any ideas why primarily natural beauty (scenery) has such a powerful effect?  

My response to the natural world is that it calms and relaxes me.  It doesn't even have to be beautiful scenery or vistas for the effect to make itself felt.  Just being in nature has this effect.  Perhaps  it's something along those lines?

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Aaron2016
4 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Natural beauty can often invoke/evoke strong emotions, are you perhaps afraid of those kinds of feelings? 

I don't believe I'm afraid to feel those emotions.  I just seem to get an odd feeling that I am undeserving to experience the beauty that is presented for me.  e.g.  Like a factory worker in Victorian times who always keeps his head down and suddenly finds himself in a posh room surrounded by his superiors who are looking down at him with contempt, and the worker feels too lowly to look up at them and feels undeserving to be in their presence.  When I look at a beautiful landscape I get that feeling.  It's like I am being exposed to something too powerful for my mind to process, and I immediately look away.

 

Edited by Aaron2016

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XenoFish
2 minutes ago, Aaron2016 said:

I don't believe I'm afraid to feel those emotions.  I just seem to get an odd feeling that I am undeserving to experience the beauty that is presented for me.  e.g.  Like a factory worker in Victorian times who always keeps his head down and suddenly finds himself in a posh room surrounded by his superiors who are looking down at him with contempt, and the worker feels to lowly to look up at them and feels undeserving to be in their presence.  When I look at a beautiful landscape I get that feeling.  It's like I am being exposed to something too powerful for my mind to process, and I immediately look away.

 

The only thing I can suggest is forcing yourself to maintain your attention on the thing/s of beauty. Consciously change this unknown subconscious impulse. 

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Horta
18 hours ago, Aaron2016 said:

Whenever I see something beautiful I get a strange urge to look away almost immediately.  It's like I can't allow myself to appreciate anything beautiful for longer than 1 or 2 seconds. e.g. A beautiful landscape, a Christmas tree, the clouds changing shape in the sky, watching the end of a sunset.  The list goes on. 

Please take the following with a grain of salt.

A sense of beauty can be an individual thing, perhaps you simply don't react to certain things the way others do, or perhaps are developing a different idea of what beauty is, or what it means (to you)? Our modern pop culture doesn't really seem to encourage either individuality or an appreciation for beauty to begin with. It's more interested in the bottom line, beauty is at best an afterthought. It's like we are being force fed a cultural diet of cheap junk food.

 

Quote

Does anyone know why I can't appreciate beautiful things for longer than a few seconds and do you experience the same thing? 

I don't really have that problem, though I have been fortunate enough to travel to some beautiful (and remote) places. Ever taken the time out to go and immerse yourself in nature either alone, or just with someone close? I mean far away from civilisation. I don't think we have a soul, but if we did, this would surely be good for it.

There's no turning away from natural beauty in these situations, you're immersed in it all, in a way you are part of it.

 

Quote

Any ideas why primarily natural beauty (scenery) has such a powerful effect?  So powerful that I can't even look at it?  I can't even appreciate the dazzling glow of a Christmas tree.  After 1 - 2 seconds my mind just says 'that's long enough' and I force myself to look away.  What gives?  It's got to the point that I just take photographs of everything beautiful so that I won't be put in that situation, but it sadly makes the photographs feel empty and hollow because there was no emotional attachment made when I took them.  The trick is to appreciate what I am seeing at the same time I am taking the photos, but I have a habit of not appreciating what I am photographing.

How do you feel about things like art, literature and music that can have a similar powerful effect?

Though I'm with you on the christmas tree thing, somehow puts me in mind of Las Vegas lol. Why not forget about trying to capture the supposed beauty of things this way or worrying about what you should find beautiful for a while, just go about what you do and see if you can enjoy it in your own way? I realise you're only after ideas and conversation, but in the end if you really find it is a problem you struggle with, a forum probably isn't the place to sort it out.

 

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Aaron2016
30 minutes ago, Horta said:

Please take the following with a grain of salt.

A sense of beauty can be an individual thing, perhaps you simply don't react to certain things the way others do, or perhaps are developing a different idea of what beauty is, or what it means (to you)? Our modern pop culture doesn't really seem to encourage either individuality or an appreciation for beauty to begin with. It's more interested in the bottom line, beauty is at best an afterthought. It's like we are being force fed a cultural diet of cheap junk food.

 

I don't really have that problem, though I have been fortunate enough to travel to some beautiful (and remote) places. Ever taken the time out to go and immerse yourself in nature either alone, or just with someone close? I mean far away from civilisation. I don't think we have a soul, but if we did, this would surely be good for it.

There's no turning away from natural beauty in these situations, you're immersed in it all, in a way you are part of it.

 

How do you feel about things like art, literature and music that can have a similar powerful effect?

Though I'm with you on the christmas tree thing, somehow puts me in mind of Las Vegas lol. Why not forget about trying to capture the supposed beauty of things this way or worrying about what you should find beautiful for a while, just go about what you do and see if you can enjoy it in your own way? I realise you're only after ideas and conversation, but in the end if you really find it is a problem you struggle with, a forum probably isn't the place to sort it out.

 

Thanks.  I can appreciate good music, with a good beat, but I can't recall any songs that affect me emotionally.  I have found myself lost in remote places by accident e.g. lost in a forest miles away from human civilization and marveled at the surrounding beauty, although I was more concerned at the time to finding a way out of the forest, but I do have fond memories of being overwhelmed by such raw beauty all around.  I thought about why I have trouble appreciating beautiful things again this morning, and it could be that I see so much pain and hardship on TV, on the news, at work in hospital, and I walk passed the war memorials almost each day and think about the sacrifices made so that we may live and see such beauty.  It could be that I subconsciously feel there is a great injustice in the world and that we are all guilty by our inability to change the world for the better and correct the mistakes of the past, and so when I see something beautiful I feel that it is off limits and that we do not deserve to feel the warmth and joy that it brings to our hearts when we see and admire something beautiful.  e.g.  A bit like Scrooge at the end of a Christmas Carol, when he realizes the joy of Christmas for the first time and he can't help himself but be happy, and then he stops and says to himself - "I don't deserve such happiness, but I can't help myself" and he begins to laugh again.  On some occasions I have intentionally got myself partially drunk, just so that I can loosen up and properly appreciate something stunning and beautiful.  I know alcohol is not the cure, but it certainly helps in moderation.

 

Edited by Aaron2016

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