When Life Happens – Beauty Prevails

How To Find Beauty When Life Isn’t Fair:

As one fascinated with beauty, I have discovered in my life that there is a relationship between beauty and the pain we sometimes feel as we go through life.

Songwriter Bob Dylan once wrote, “Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” I am inclined to believe him, because I have had that experience myself. That’s why I want to share it with you here, to help you see that no matter what happens to you in your life, there can be beauty in it.

I read a story recently that solidified my belief in this principle. A noted Russian historian, Orlando Figes, recently discovered a box filled with love letters between Lev and Svetlana Mishchenko, two Moscow scientists who met in 1935 but were kept apart for 13 years by war and internment. Their letters tell the incredible story of how they kept communicating through Lev’s imprisonment at the Pechora Gulag where he constantly faced death in the harshest conditions. It’s a story of hope, faith, incredible fortitude and determination.

The letters are especially poignant when you understand the history of the inhumane conditions under which Lev endured, only to see none of that pain or suffering reflected in the tens of thousands of words he wrote to his darling Svetlana over those years. He wanted to spare her more worry, knowing that it was difficult enough for them to be apart without her being overly concerned about his day to day survival. From his tone and eloquence, it may even be possible that he had no worry about himself, despite his circumstances. His love and the hope it brought his life could very well have been the motivating factor that kept him alive and safe. Deep in his heart, he knew that they would be reunited someday, and that there was no way he would allow the war or his situation stand between their passion for each other.

And reunited they were, to grow old together knowing that their separation, while painful, did not break them nor shake their love for one another. It made them stronger, bonded them in ways that few couples may ever understand. Their story serves as a reminder that love is far more powerful than hate, and that the bond it secures can never be broken.

The lessons we can learn from their incredible story of love, hope and survival can stay with us our entire lives. If we allow ourselves to be inspired by them, we can find a comfort, a calm and an inner beauty that resonates from our hearts. I have come to understand that the measure of a person is not just how they conduct themselves when life is at its best, but rather, how they behave when life is not kind. That is the place where we find our moments of redemption, and it is how we can all feel like royalty, no matter our lineage.

Yours in Beauty,



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