Overcoming Bodily Actions Which Seems Impossible Of Change
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
CONDITIONS differ from circumstances.
Circumstances are changeable conditions which merely "stand around about you," and, of themselves, have no stability. They are created by man, and can be overcome by man.
But, differing from circumstances, there are certain conditions which seem to be so "fixed" that they obstruct your progress toward success. They are of two kinds undesirable facial features, and malformations of the body. They are often so fixed that it seems impossible to change them.
Yet, the limitations of all such conditions can be overcome! It has been done hundreds of times, and that which has been done, can be done!
Of course, you cannot change your height from four feet eight inches to six feet two inches, but in all dealings with others, you can overcome the limitations which you think are due to a stature of four feet eight inches ! You can carry yourself in such a way that others will think of you as a king. Napoleon, though short of stature, made himself the commanding figure among all classes and manner of men, merely by the way he carried himself. He did not increase his stature, but he overcame its limitations.
Whether or not you succeed in overcoming conditions, which it seems impossible for you to change, depends on your vision of the powers of your soul, on your faith in its possibilities, and on your use of expression as the means of overcoming the limitations. If your ideal of the possibilities and powers of your real self is limited, then you hinder yourself in climbing out from under the conditions. But, if you realize that your soul is infinite, and that its possibilities of expression are limitless ; then, no matter what the partial manifestation, no matter what the restricting condition, no matter what the limitation—you can climb out from under it, by changing your expression!
In essence, your soul is perfect—embracing all possibilities and all powers.
In manifestation, you limit yourself by limiting your expression.
You can change your expression!
You can change your body!
But, to change the bodily form, you must change its expression first!
If you are locked in a room, with the key on the inside of the door, on your side, you will fail to get out—no matter how much you butt your head against the door—unless you first turn the key to unlock the door.
But, it is easy to succeed in getting out of the room, if you turn the key in the lock first, and then open the door.
If you have failed to climb out from under the limitations of bodily conditions, it is because you have been attempting to batter down the form of the limitations without first changing its expression. To succeed means "to climb out from under." It does not mean to batter down, to smash, or to "reduce to nothingness."
You can always change the expression of any form of life.
And, changing its expression will change its form.
Soul expression is soul-in-action. Activity comes first !
Every soul loves the beauty of activity more than it loves beauty of form; for, in active expression, there is a beauty which has a greater and stronger appeal than the beauty of form.
Do you not prefer the living, romping, active, companionable dog—even though he may not be perfect in form—to the most perfect clay model of a dog any artist ever designed?
As a mother, do you not prefer the active, living child—even if its nose is not perfect—to the most beautifully formed and perfectly featured doll in the world?
And, young man, do you not prefer the living, loving, joyously expressive maid, to the perfect wax figure in the department store window?
It is beauty of expression which we most love ! It is beauty of expression which at-tracts others most!
No matter from what viewpoint you estimate the possibilities and powers of climbing out from under bodily conditions, you are forced to the conclusion that you can free yourself from any and all bodily limitations which seem to prevent you from succeeding.
You may not be able at once to make a hunched. back straight and tall; or immediately reform facial features so that they are beautifully symmetrical; but anyone can free himself from any limitation due to imperfections of form!
The face can always be made attractive in expression!
That which attracts is cheer and joy and love. If you train your face to express continually these qualities, it cannot remain unattractive and, even strangers, meeting you for the first time, will think of the cheer and joy you radiate instead of the form of your face.
Mirabeau was not only ill-featured, but his face was marred by smallpox pits. To overcome this drawback, he spent hours a day training his face to be expressive. As a result, he became the most charming man of his time at the court of France. Great men admired him, and princesses and duchesses were charmed by the beauty of his facial expression.
One of the world's greatest humorists was unattractive of face and deformed of body. Yet, he made himself so happy in living his life, so cheerful, and so joyous, so humorous and so witty, that we loved him. Many went to hear him year after year. Thousands were made happy by his presence, his wit, his humor, his joy, his happiness. He did not change his physical structure greatly, but he overcame its limitations; he climbed out from under the limitations of the condition of his face and body.
Not one of us who knew him thought of his ill-featured face ! Not one of us remembers his deformed body! But, his gloriously illumined face—his expression of cheer, joy and love—will stay with us always.
All limitations of form—whether of features of face, or of other parts of the body —can be overcome by expression.
When I first knew Paul, he was eighteen. His hands were then badly stiffened and crippled. They had been injured in a factory machine. Afterwards, he became a rapid typist ; then he learned to play the piano so that we listened with amazement and joy. Next, he trained his hands to do skillful coin and card tricks. And, later, he held audiences spellbound—by using his hands mar velously, to express the emotions of the soul.
And, as in many other cases, his active use of his hands, trained to express what no other hands had ever so dramatically ex-pressed, actually changed them, so that the hands, themselves, once more became beautiful in form!
Lady Margaret was born a hunchback. At twenty-one she was but four feet tall; yet, she carried herself with such consciousness of soul dignity, that others never thought of her short stature. Every one of us—whether in a private home, or at a public affair—would look up, whenever she entered, because her character was so inspiring, and she carried her body so well, that we were in the presence of a queen !
Lincoln's face in line and form, was homely in repose. Yet, even those who had been his worst enemies, ceased to ridicule and hate, and bowed in admiration and love, when they saw the man's soul manifesting in his face—radiating its love, kindness, strength and wisdom.
You can overcome any limitation due to a bodily condition, no matter what it is!
The power to do so resides in you !
Will you take the time and make the effort ?
If so, you can be what you will to be I
An acorn and a good sized pebble nestled close underground.
" You're silly to try to be a tree," said the pebble, "why, you're no bigger than I am, and a tree is a million times larger. You're only a little nut! You're not even shaped like a tree! Why do you think you can be one? "
"I desire to," said the acorn.
"What's desire?" scoffed the pebble.
"A desire is the prophecy of what you can be," said the acorn. "A sunbeam told me that last summer."
" You're just a silly dreamer," sneered the pebble.
And the pebble remained a pebble, and the acorn became a tree!