Welcome to the time of year when we all look back over the “old” year and begin to look at how we can improve ourselves in the new. This usually entails some things like exercise, weight loss, reading more, traveling or perhaps becoming a volunteer for the community. It boils down to just doing more to improve how we feel about ourselves. I was contemplating this need to improve ourselves and feel better when I began reading the latest Brian Andreas book we just got in a bit ago, ‘Bring Your Life Back To Life’ when I came across this bit of Brian wisdom, “There is no such thing as a perfect version of you...who you’re becoming is not finished. Which means you can be different, no matter who you’ve been up until now.” And the drive to become a new and improved version of ourselves happens when we feel that being different will make us better. Better isn't always about being different, but being different sometimes makes us feel better.
Just as an artist works little by little on a sculpture, bit by bit we make decisions today that form who we become tomorrow. We become different because another layer has been removed and what is hidden to everyone, including us, begins to appear a little more. Just as the sculptor envisions what the sculpture will be when it is complete, we too have an idea of what it will take to make us feel complete. The most beautiful part of this whole idea is we can change, anytime, or we don't have to change at all. It's our choice and if we feel okay with who we are, then it's okay to not change a thing. Have you ever seen artwork that seems to be unfinished? It can still hold a gaze, or be confusing, or even be a bit mysterious, and still be beautiful. It can be the same with us. Some people are just fine exactly where they are and others have a need to change themselves over and over again. Either choice works.
The main point is we don't have to be different to feel better. And we certainly don't have to be different for someone else to feel better either. Change is only needed if we don't feel good about who or where we are. Sometimes the painter has a near perfect piece of art in front of him but he can't help making one more stroke of his brush and the magic is gone. What made the artist complete the last stroke? Probably letting those tiny voices tell him others won't like it. This is the only thing that will damage us as well, allowing someone else to dictate our completeness. It's not a decision for someone else who we are or we become.
When I visited the Louvre in Paris I noticed how many people were engaged with sculptures that were done so long ago that arms, legs and even heads were missing from them. I could see in their eyes they were wondering what it had looked like when it was whole. And yet, even with so much missing, people were just as engaged with these as the sculptures that were “complete”. Because being finished is subjective. Being finished for one person is not the same for another. Some will say you must grow or you will not be complete. And yet, the block of stone must be chipped away at and become smaller to become a sculpture but the block of stone was complete just as it was also and didn't need to be different to be better. This is why we decide for ourselves whether we need to be different to be better.
Let me leave you with this...if you decide to be different because you believe it will make you feel better, awesome. Sometimes the sculptor sees something when at the start of creating but changes direction when something else begins to show itself to its creator. So the sculptor begins again because sometimes things end up so much more beautiful than what was imagined. So the choice is yours. You are never finished, whether you stay the same, become different somehow, or completely change to something you never saw coming. Remember, you have the choice to be different, better is about how you feel, finished never happens, but beautiful is what you've been all along.