One of my favorite summer memories is going to outdoor concerts with my hubby. There’s nothing better. I love the experience of live music anywhere but being at a summer outdoor concert with my guy is the ultimate date night. We’ve seen Paul McCartney to the random band at the small-town bar and everything in between. We drink cheap beer and hold hands – it’s perfect. I love my husband. There are certain concerts that I will never forget. I remember it all, the temperature, the smells, the people sitting next to us. And I can still feel the songs to this day. I can still feel the feelings of hearing those songs live and experiencing the artist’s work real time.
When you hear the story behind the song and then experience it real time with the artist, it feels a little bit like being in their personal studio. It’s so intimate. You can feel their work, their creation, their passion. Not only did they create this piece of art, they’re sharing it with you, with the world. It’s such an act of vulnerability to share your art with people. People will misinterpret the art, they won’t “get it.” When people don’t get your art, it’s painful. Yet, the artist continues to put their work out into the world, because they know that when the right person experiences it, the art changes the way people feel. I imagine it’s so rewarding.
Last week, I shared the idea of believing you’re already enough. If you haven’t read that one, go back and read that blog post first. The question was asking what would happen if you believed you’re already enough? What fruit would you produce? How would people experience you and experience your gifts? After sharing that blog, I had people so many people reach out to share privately that I hit a cord. They have felt alone in their self -limiting beliefs. They were so hard on themselves. The negative self-talk was so strong, it drove them away from people. As they drove people away, the negative self-talk only got worse. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I also want to mention that this doesn’t just impact women, I heard from as many men. As it turns out, many of us hear negative self-talk on replay in the privacy of our own minds. We all compare ourselves to each other but forget that we’re a unique piece of art.
I’m going to tell you something that you already know. I probably should have said this in the last blog post. You are the only one like you. No one can be you, better than you. You were not created by accident. You were created by design. You are a work of art created out of love and passion. You started as a draft that was reworked and reworked until you were just right, perfect and imperfect. Your imperfections aren’t mistakes, they are a reflection of the artists vision, style and creativity. You are just what the artist had in mind when she started putting you on paper, into clay, winding the chords together. When people experience you just as you were created, they are moved by you, they are moved by the art. They can feel you like I can feel a summer concert. They don’t forget you and they definitely don’t forget the way you made them feel. The story of you and the experiencing of you is something people remember. The world needs you. People need you.
You are the only one like you. No one can be you, better than you.
And sometimes art isn’t appreciated by everyone who experiences it. When I hear a song for the first time or see a painting for the first time, I might not love it. Not because it’s wrong, I just don’t get it. Then I hear the story of the song. I hear the inspiration for the painting, and I’m drawn right in. When I experience the music through the musician, when I see the painting through the artist’s lens, when we hear the artist tell the story behind the piece of art, I am often moved, sometimes to tears. We are overcome with emotion because we see the art as it was created to be seen. That is you. When we see you through the lens of the artist, you come alive. There is no one like you. You are the only one like you.
Sometimes we are in jobs, in communities and in relationships that disconnect us from seeing the piece of art that we were created to be. We start seeing ourselves through someone else’s lens and we see ourselves in relation to their story of us. This lens only gives us a visual of who we are as it relates to producing results for the business. We aren’t someone else’s business results. The lens may only give us a visual of who we are within a defined community. We aren’t how one defined community sees us. The lens may only give us a visual of who we are from someone else’s human perspective. How an individual human sees us is often a reflection of how they see themselves. If they are broken, they will see us and treat us as broken. We aren’t broken. We are perfect and imperfect. But we aren’t broken. We’re not only enough, we’re a freaking piece of art! We are created by design by an artist who wept tears of joy and love over her creation process.
This doesn’t mean that we have to step away from the business, community or relationship, it just means that we have to know who we are and be confident that we weren’t made for just their benefit.
If one of my sons came to me and said “I’m not enough in this job. I’m not enough in this faith community. I’m not enough to be in relationship with this person.” My heart would break for him, this person I love so much. I’m totally biased but I think I see him through the artist’s lens. I love the design. I love the story of him. I can see how God made him. I can see his unique gifts. I can see how he will lead and love so well. The artist did an amazing job with him – even in his flaws. His flaws make him human. I would say “it’s not your job to be enough for a job, a community or a relationship. Run back towards yourself.”
If you are in a business, community or relationship that is making it hard for you to see you as the work of art that you are, you need to run back to yourself. If you try to come back to yourself and you can’t get there, you may need to go back to the artist. You may need to see yourself, the art, through the artists’ lens. You may need to rehear the story of you. You may need to redo those things until you see the work of art, until you cherish it, until you see what the artist sees. I want you to know this so deeply right now that you stop what you’re doing and find a way to run back towards yourself.
This isn’t to say that we can’t reach for more. We can always reach for more. But our reaching for more isn’t because we aren’t enough, it’s an expression of stewarding the art. Stewarding the uniqueness of the piece, our unique gifts and abilities. “I’m enough and I’m want to honor the work of art that I am. I will honor myself by growing my gifts and abilities. And by serving others in new ways.” Reaching for more is not an expression of realizing and internalizing that we aren’t enough. “I’m not enough so I need to prove to the world, my boss, my community, my spouse that I’m worthy only if I am or am producing through the lens in which they see me.” Reaching for more is knowing you are already enough – you’re a freaking work of art.
You are the only one like you. There’s no one else that can be you better than you. You were not created by accident. You were created by design.
“God saw all that she had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
Encourage You Challenge
Do you see yourself as the work of art that you are? Do you need to run back to yourself? Do you need to take some time to see yourself through the artist’s lens? Do you need to rehear the story of you? Go back to the blog post dated June 25th, 2021 and follow through on the Encourage You Challenge.
This is also a great time to check in to make sure that you are spending time in work, communities and relationships that see you and appreciate you for who you are and how you were made, with your unique gifts and abilities.
Another perspective on this is that there are times when we come to the table in a new job or relationship and we show up as something other than ourselves. We show up as someone else because we don’t see ourselves through the artists’ lens. We aren’t convinced that who we are is enough. However, the business or new relationship might love who we are and what we bring to the table. If this is the case, run back to yourself. It’s what the other party was interested in in the first place. They saw what the artist created and they were moved to be in relationship with you.
Encourage Her Challenge
I also want to encourage you to Encourage Her. Is there a woman in your life that needs to hear from you about how you see her, as a freaking work of art? Does she need to be encouraged that she’s created by design? Does she need to be challenged in her work environment, her community or her relationship? Is she seeing herself through a broken lens? Could you take a moment to send her a text, give her a call, write her an email, or drive to her home and tell her face to face.
I see you. I love you. I’m cheering you on!
5 thoughts on “You’re not only enough…You’re a freaking work of art”
Your words are so needed by this world! I’m truly in awe of your creation, your art. Your words are changing people, stopping people dead in their tracks, and making them reflect on their own beauty, flaws and all. I’m so proud of you and what you are doing to change lives and hearts. I love you!
EB – you’re a freaking work of art! Loved the message and I’m taking your advice and letting a few of the “freaking works of art” in my life know it. Thanks for being you😊
Thank you, that’s awesome. Thanks for being the ultimate encourager Ray!
You have always amazed me beyond words and I’m a different person because of you! I need to hear, see and read your words – please keep them coming!!!!!
This makes my heart burst! I’m so glad these words are serving you!