There is this story I always reach for when I feel like I’m not enough. Apparently years ago, a team of art historians were brought in to restore this massive Buddha statue. While they were trying to transport it to an indoor location, it cracked. Unable to determine the extent of the damage in the rain, they put a tarp over it to protect it and returned the next day to look at it more closely in the sun. What they discovered was that there was something bright reflecting from inside the crack. Upon a closer examination, they soon learned the Buddha was, in fact, solid gold. It was believed the golden Buddha had been encased in a mixture of mud, dung and straw in order to disguise its value during wartime or to discourage theft. The team that had been hired to restore this ancient relic, soon learned its real work was to pick away the shit that had been covering the gold.
I think about that story a lot—how much effort we exert “keep up the shit” that masks our real beauty and our true value. And how sometimes what’s needed is not to preserve something, but to crack it open to see what lives inside it that we might have long-since forgotten about.
Want to know what these daily verses are all about? Read here to learn what inspired this practice on my birthday post, November 1st.