Completing The Vision / Permission To Be Ugly
Completing the vision and giving yourself permission to be ugly.
I think about things like this due to rambling statements that are whispered into my ear.
The whispers come from my right side, never the left and it's always my own voice doing the talking. This voice is not my inner voice or that voice that you are using right now while reading this. It's a real live actually auditory voice speaking from about three inches from my right ear, as if I was standing next to myself giving sage wisdom that I (John) have failed, yet, to understand. I have no idea how this mystical apparition of my own self can sit on my right shoulder whispering advice to myself, yet this is how it happens. Trust me, the higher me does not always preach insightful words. Read on.
Misdirection is a path. Most artists know this to be true. You sit down to do one thing and something else appears. This is one of the reason that schizophrenia is rampant among the great-of-greatest artists. You sit down to complete one thing and during this process you realize that your work is complete shit and next you restart the restarting process all over. Maddening, isn’t it?
Hence, the struggle between completing the vision and permission to be ugly is born. First, let me explain what ugly is….ugly is the practice of failure. If you're not failing then you're not doing and if you're not doing then you're done; done for good in life, art and the transcendental beyond.
We create. There is never a non-creating moment (right side mystical voice talking there).
Too often we struggle to look good. I want my downward dog perfect when I practice yoga; I want my music to be angelic and otherworldly; I want to never have to use spell check again or ask my wife “how do I spell this?" I want all my photos to be spot on, not having to filter through the crap for the solid 20% that doesn't suck. You have to give yourself permission to be ugly and to do the work. It's just that simple. Ugly before beautiful.
Do the work. Be ugly. Create. This all takes effort and purpose.
When I run I hear my whispering self coaching me on. The first two miles takes effort then next however many miles will take purpose. I have to run through the ugliness of my body hurting and my mind telling me to go home. Odd interjection here: My own inner voice is a downer, without fail telling me to stop or take the easy way out. What is up with that? This begs the question of "who am I?" If my inner voice is a downer then where does the mystical whisper come from that is ever so motivating?
Quit calling yourself a perfectionist. That is an excuse to never finish. That is an excuse of why you can not commit to share your art. It's an excuse.
Ugliness does not need an excuse to complete the vision.
Last night I reconnected with an old friend. He handed me two cd’s that he recorded completely on his own. He told me the story of writing the songs, the struggles of learning how to record; he told me of proud stuff, he told me of the ugly stuff. He completed the vision by doing the work, by not being afraid to be ugly while creating.
The work is great. I played the cd in my car on my drive home and enjoyed the music.
I heard only the beautiful music.
That is the lesson learned: The permission to be ugly is only for you, but the completing the vision is for the rest of us.
Create, Connect and Grow