Where others saw flaws, one genius saw a masterpiece waiting to be revealed
I started thinking about Michelangelo’s Statue of David recently, which is one of the most famous works of art ever created and a timeless classic that is recognized around the world. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the story is that the sculptor could have had his pick of the finest marble available anywhere, yet he settled for what was called a “ruined” block of marble that had been rejected by all of his contemporaries. This was Michelangelo’s true genius; he looked inside the stone as it already existed and saw the vision he sought to create. His belief was that when you simply chip away at what isnot the image, then the masterpiece is soon revealed.
A brilliant metaphor – and way of life
The reason this story came to mind is because it’s such a profound metaphor for what I am blessed to be able to do every day for a living. The difference is – I don’t work in marble. I work with living, breathing souls and by seeing the genius in them first, I get to see some amazing masterpieces revealed. Please don’t think I’m arrogant enough to compare myself to one of the greatest artists who ever lived. It is an honor to humbly do what I do and I give thanks to the great teachers who came before me and made it possible. That’s because the truth is – we don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are – and we can all choose to view the world w/ Michelangelo-like eyes.
Speaking of a masterpiece
The reason I thought of this story was a direct result of a beautiful email I got from my client whom I will call Jenny in order to protect her privacy. To this day, I still have no idea who referred her to me because she wouldn’t say. She was very private and somewhat guarded when we first met. Although she was attractive, athletic and quite successful with her medical practice, her love life was kind of a mess. In fact, it was her slightly over-developed masculine energy that had made her so successful in other areas of her life, that was totally sabotaging her. For a period of time, she even dated like a man with multiple dates per week crammed into an already overflowing schedule. It certainly wasn’t bringing out the best in her – nor was it working at all. In fact, every dead-end date only added to her frustration – which was beginning to turn to desperation. Then to make matters worse – her overbearing and domineering, yet well-intentioned mother even questioned her sexuality. Talk about pressure…
Chipping away at the stone
Jenny was a wonderful client who made tremendous breakthroughs every week once she committed to coaching because she was so caught up in the situation, she couldn’t see how she was causing it – or the solution – on her own. Those breakthroughs began to stack up because with the work we were doing, she was able to finally see things from a whole new perspective where we acknowledged the issues and defined the problem in solvable terms. A classic achiever, she really dug in, did her homework and committed to change. Some might think that sounds difficult but as a witness to the process, I think Jenny would call it one of the best things she ever did, truly cathartic…and maybe even fun. Actually, it was simply nothing compared to the hell she was already putting herself through on a daily basis. Rather than speaking for her, why don’t I let Jenny speak for herself…
Thank you for the follow up phone call last night. I wanted to give you an update on what has been happening since we last spoke. I remember one of my “goals” that I put on the question form you gave me before we started and I wrote something like “to meet a man” or “to be in a successful relationship” Well it worked. (My man) and I have been dating since I met him on Match in November, as you know. Our relationship has progressed in so many positive ways. We are in a committed exclusive relationship now. He has been the man that I have always looked for and he has allowed me to be the feminine woman that I have long searched for. We allow each other to be who we want and need to be and that is why it works. We communicate really well and this was established early on, thanks to your insight and encouragement. Because both of our families live out of town, an opportunity came up and he asked me to go back to his hometown to meet his parents/family and his best friends. It was an amazing weekend! I was nervous prior, but by the time we got there and I thought about (how you helped me be) my true self; everything went perfectly. We also have booked a flight to visit his sister in May. He will meet my parents when they are in town in May as well. My mom is very excited to meet him, and ever since I set my boundaries with her, she has yet to annoy, pester, and push me. That’s right – my mom is no longer hanging around me and my relationships. 🙂
Dave, I thank you for all that you have given me and taught me. Your encouragement, strategies, and energy helped to be the happiest I have been in a very long time, not just in a relationship, but with myself. You do special work. There are many people out in the world that would truly benefit from your work, just like I did, I hope they find you. Again, THANK YOU.
One last thought
We all love a happy ending and I hope you enjoyed Jenny’s story. I thank you for allowing me to share it to inspire you with what’s possible – but I also have a call-to-action for you. I have a question for you. Who or what in your life is frustrating you the most right now? What if you stepped back and looked again with new eyes that were worthy of Michelangelo? Where others saw “ruin,” he saw beauty that would endure and inspire forever. So what can you love, admire, understand, respect or even appreciate about that person who is frustrating you right now? What’s great, fortuitous or even the hidden blessing in that challenge that’s driving you crazy right now? Questions like these have the power to shift your life from “ruin” to a work of art in a heartbeat. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me…and if you’re really stuck on what’s great about your current challenge, give me a call to discuss it. I’m pretty good at this. 😉