Watching my daughter at work with her clay made me think about our emotional substance. We can learn a few secrets about happiness from the sculptor.
Life is a journey of self-discovery and development, or not. I know people who choose the latter—to stay exactly the way they are—but I find them quite sad. It’s always our choice. Religions first introduced the concept of free will; that there are natural forces of good and evil in the spiritual world, and we are free to make our own choice of association.
This is true for our physical health too. Health is our natural birthright. We start with a perfect design. Then, a combination of environmental pressures result in our locking away natural treasures. BodyWHealth teaches us how to unlock these treasures, to avoid degeneration and decay, but it’s always our own choice.
Emotional health is similar. We start with the blueprint for happiness. Through our lives we’re exposed to a wide range of different experiences. We choose whether to embrace these and the learning that goes with them, or not. Instinctively, we might think that the person who drives through hardship unchanged has emotional strength. They “toughed it out”. Instead, science teaches us that true emotional strength involves vulnerability, adaptability and resilience.
The ideal emotional constitution is more like clay than steel. Something with enough substance that it provides solid form, yet soft and malleable—something we can mold into new shapes as we grow and develop.
Apart from continually molding our emotional self to succeed under life’s variable conditions, we need to ensure that the clay remains in good condition. The potter and sculptor use water to keep it soft and malleable. In life, love is the magic potion that keeps us emotionally flexible. When we feel loved, we are brave enough to be vulnerable and to try new emotional shapes. In contrast, without love, we dry out. We become rigid and brittle. We crack and fragment easily.
So, bathe yourself and those around you with love. Embrace challenges with firm hands, as the potter does. Trust your ability to reshape. Over time, you will become your own, beautiful masterpiece.