I’ve written several times over the years about uncovering one’s inner “work of art”, that beautifully flawed, cracked yet whole person who accepts without question who s/he is and is able to simply be. (For a few examples, read: Work of Art – Part 1 and Work of Art – Part 2) At a brief spiritual retreat this weekend, I was again reminded of this idea. Our small group of seekers watched a segment of a DVD based on the book, “Discovering Awareness” by Tony D’Souza and Bud Wonsiewicz. The retreat and DVD reflected the ideas of mindfulness, awareness, and conscious choice, all of which have so many applications for recovery from disordered eating.
The idea that stuck with me most was that some people think of our purpose on this earth as that of an architect; we believe that we must create something out of nothing. We try to add tangible things to our lives, build new physical bodies, create new ideas in our minds, and become something. This striving towards becoming seems perfectly fine at first glance. But those of us who have experienced body dissatisfaction or disordered eating know exactly what happens when we follow that path for too long. Disillusionment and frustration abound when we don’t become what we expect to become.
The other way of thinking about our role on earth is that of a sculptor. Many are familiar with the biblical idea of God as Potter and humans as the clay that is shaped into something over time. I like this image. But now think of yourself as a sculptor. Sculptors recognize that the work of art already exists within and just needs some adjustments to be revealed. Change comes about through the sculptor’s conscious choice about what to strip away and let go of. Imagine this: We already are something. It’s simply a matter of letting go of the “excess”, whatever that may be (unrealistic expectations, hurtful people, the belief that we aren’t whole, a victim mentality, etc.).
What would it be like for you to rethink who you are and recognize the work of art within? What if our life’s journey was not about becoming something, but about revealing the beautiful something already within? Try that idea on for size and let me know what you think.
Peace, joy, and health,