I recently discovered a TV show called Botched which is about two plastic surgeons who specialize in revising surgical errors from poor or “botched” previous procedures done on patients. I really got into the show as a curiosity about plastic surgery, but I’ve recently realized that this show is actually spiritual! Let me explain. Sometimes I’ve resisted the adage that we should be grateful for ALL things. I thought that this adage meant being satisfied with the status quo no matter how bad or mediocre, which is a difficult idea for an ambitious and driven person. I don’t think that it is bad to want more or strive toward improvement. But what I learned from Botched is that in order to really achieve improvement, it is imperative to understand what is good and what is worse. So here are some other key takeaways.
What’s Natural Might Be Beauty You’re Just Not Ready to See
Often the patients on the show are people who have changed their noses, cheeks, lips, butts or breasts all in an effort to improve their self-image. Once they come to the surgeons, Dr. Nasir and Dr. Dubrow, for consultation, they often just want to return to a “normal” or “natural” appearance. This later reprioritization of values highlights the idea about gratitude for your natural self.
Functionality Is Primary
An understanding of what is the primary purpose of something in your life is essential before improving it. Functionality is an essential good. For example, a smaller nose that doesn’t allow you to breathe is not an improvement. Therefore the dysfunction is the worst. The wisdom of how a feature of your face or body aesthetically or functionally fits within the context of the rest is a spiritual truth.
What You Don’t Love, Will Leave You
I believe one basic tenant of life is that what you don’t love, will leave you! I think that is true of friends, family as well as hair, nails and maybe even a nose that you have over-modified. And as challenging as it might be to love a nose with a big bump on it, it is even harder to love a nose whittled down to a nub or over-filled lips you cannot close or a butt implant that is uncomfortable to sit on. So just listen to Joni Mitchell, “Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone!”
Remain In Your Creation Lane
I believe people are better at creating things that are inherently “man-constructed” from conception to execution. People are notoriously poor at improving upon what is more organic or natural. I think the exceptions to this assertion are when the natural creation is a less often occurring genetic and functional flaw like in a cleft lip. Or physical damage that arises from life “wear and tear” such as excess skin from weight loss or the scars from childbirth, a life-saving mastectomy, etc. We should follow God’s example and create in the spirit of love, not disdain.
Count Your Blessings Before You Need More Blessings
So there are many blessings freely granted to us and there are things that people must create for themselves such as houses, businesses and fashion. And it is important to understand our areas of expertise and to have gratitude while we pursue more happiness, excellence and beauty or we might inadvertently misunderstand what is truly good and uncover what’s worse.