While sculpting the great statue of David, Michelangelo was asked why he was working so hard. His response was a simple, but profound statement that each of us should consider as it relates to us:
There is an angel inside of this rock and I am setting him free.
Likewise, there is something divine inside of you… in fact, it isn’t just “in” you. It IS you. It is your very essence. You are a diving being with so much love, light, power & grace that if you were to only recognize it, you would, as Thomas Edison said: “literally astonish yourself.”
The process of ‘becoming’ aligned with our true nature, then, isn’t about adding something that isn’t there, but rather a process of letting go of the things which cloud our ability to see our sacred & divine essence. This process is akin to the process that Michelangelo used to release the “angel” that became the greatest sculpture in all of history.
Here are the 4 steps in sculpting, that will also release the angel inside of us:
Chipping – This is the highest impact part of it all. It’s when the biggest pieces are smashed away with brute force. These parts are those that must simply go if we are even to begin to see the angel at all…. and it can be a painful experience.
In each of us, there are some things that just have to go. Plain and simple, some of our vices, weaknesses, emotional attachments and addictions have to go if we are ever to realize our true potential. Without these jarring experiences, we will never see (or show others) the true nature that lies inside of us. It may be painful, but eliminate these blocks that keep your true nature hidden from yourself and the world.
Sculpting – Sculpting continues the same process of removing what doesn’t belong, but it uses a different chisel, and is much more deliberate. Instead of powerful smashing that removes large chunks, sculpting takes a more refined approach and take much longer to remove the fine pieces that stand in the way. It is a delicate process of revealing the beauty of what the sculpture is intended to be.
This more deliberate process in our own lives is about continued discipline in molding ourselves and persevering in the actions we know that will strengthen us. Are you reading from books that will inspire your mind and develop your spirit? Are you spending time with friends who lift, inspire & understand you? Are you treating yourself like you are your own most precious resource? This process takes confidence and self love.. and both of those come when we start to see clearly the angel deep inside.
Sanding – When the sculptor has created the outline of what the sculpture will be, sanding is the process of wearing away the jagged edges that can cut us.
Sanding is a conscious choice in our lives. We have numerous experiences that would grate on us, get on our nerves, make us upset, etc. Sanding is the choice that we make to illuminate these seemingly negative circumstances and turn them into a positive. It’s about shifting our focus from the gritty sandpaper on the outside, and seeing the act of refinement that is happening on us. We stop seeing the other person, or outside circumstance as a problem, but see our our flaws and begin to let them go. The “adversity” becomes a gift, and we recognize that has nothing to do with anyone other than ourselves.
Polishing – The part that makes the sculpture shine!
This is the part of the process that we all want to skip to. We want to look good, and shine before the world. This is justified since you are an amazing divine being worthy of celebration, but unless the proper foundation is laid it will not stand.In our lives, we all have moments of shining, and we deserve them. To have a lasting shine, the kind that comes from within, though, we have to pay our dues. If we want to shine continually, we can’t fake it… it has to come from a foundation character. We can’t project it beyond what our character will sustain, so we need to pay our dues to become aligned with our true nature and in harmony with true principles.
There is an angel inside of you. It IS you… it is who you were born, and it is who the world needs right now. By taking the time to reflect on who that angel is, and allowing yourself to go through the process of letting go of your imperfections and baggage, you will begin to bring to the world the gift most precious above all else: YOU.