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What is Collateral Beauty?

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

One of my favourite movies is Collateral Beauty. It is heart wrenching, hope inducing and all kinds of beautiful. The first time I watched it, something in my soul recognised truth but I couldn’t have deeply explained the concept behind the name. That moment came years later when I would wholeheartedly comprehend. I was sitting on the floor at my friend’s house, on the phone to Weebly trying to get my business website online. In other words, amidst the least expected scenario.

It was a time in my personal life when holding bothness was new and necessary. Bothness meaning, many things I knew to be true about my life weren’t and the darker truths I tried to hide made too much sense to continue to deny. A series of falling apart and coming together kind of moments. This friend of mine didn’t know what was happening in my personal life just that whatever it was… looked hard.

As I sat on the floor, on hold, awful jazz music playing from my phone, he reached across to my face and cupped his palm on my right cheek. For a moment, I looked up from what I was doing to meet his gaze. He didn’t say anything. He just continued to trace his hand down the side of my face and then, gently tuck a loose strand of hair behind my ear with a soft smile. The look in his eyes, one I still can’t define, only describe the feeling it elicited.

Here I was neck deep in one of the most confusing, devastating, crazy times of my life yet just trying get my business up and running. In that moment, he really saw me. I can’t tell you why but the words, ‘Collateral Beauty’, popped to mind and I finally realised, it’s me. The person I have cultivated through the hardest of times, I am it. I am the collateral beauty.

There may not be a reason for all the pain, confusion and cruelty life sometimes throws at us but without it we wouldn’t be who we are or appreciate all that we are. Without those moments we would never have discovered the true depths of our strength, greatness and vulnerable humanness. These events in life are painful as fuck and they are nurturing parts of ourselves we sometimes took for granted or couldn’t yet see.

The pearl inside the clam doesn’t make the sand any less painful or irritating it just makes you appreciate the beauty of the pearl. The sheer wonder of how times of prolonged discomfort can actually polish this hidden beauty. Self-compassion and appreciation the gift. You weren’t being punished or failing, you were simply growing something truly beautiful.

I guess this is coming to mind as our world is going through some really tough things. Bad things happening to good people has always been a part of life but it somehow feels worse when you add a global pandemic. I don’t have answers and I can’t tell you why? It just sucks sometimes. All we can do is appreciate the hidden beauty we are all polishing every day when we get up and keep going. I see you.

To remove the hierarchy and promote humaness, I have created a patreon page called Inside the Storm. It is a membership-based service taking you inside the treatment room so that we can appreciate what connects us all. Twice a month an anonymous hypnotherapy trance clip, recorded in session will be uploaded. (Only with permission of my clients). You will have access to an at home library of therapeutic audio clips. It may just give you 20mins of relaxation in your day, help you feel a little less alone or maybe even provide you with the therapy you’ve been craving.

Stay strong legends, you’re doing an incredible job of dealing with some incredibly hard things!

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