Recently I made an early Christmas gift – an advent calendar – for one of our children. The perfect opportunity came about for how and when I was going to give it. I had rehearsed the scene in my mind and I was looking forward to watching it play out – exactly as I envisioned.
When the time came to give the gift, there was someone else there. Wait! There wasn’t supposed to be someone else there. That’s not how I had this planned. I went on with my giving of the gift, and had her open right then so I could see her face. Yes, the other person was standing there. It was awkward to say the least.
I quickly excused myself and then thought about it the whole drive home. Why didn’t I just give it and not insist she open it right then? Why was I so selfish? Answer: I was so set on the outcome I had envisioned that I could not enjoy anything different.
I think that happens with things we create as well.
We have an idea. We work towards that idea – with great fervor, emotion, and determination. Then something occurs that isn’t part of our plan. The project starts to veer away from the picture in our minds. At this point, if it gets finished at all, it isn’t what we had imagined. How often are we then disappointed?
What if we took what we created and loved it, knowing it wasn’t exactly what we imagined, but that was ok?
What if we said positive things about it?
What if we let go of what it was supposed to look like and accepted it looking like it now does?
I had an art teacher in 8th grade who said, “There are no mistakes in art. The final piece just may be different than you thought.” What a comfort those words have been.
That’s the secret to being happy with whatever we are creating at the moment: Let go of the future and enjoy the present moment.
When we realize the vision is merely a starting point for the journey, only then can we enjoy the ride.