Have you ever felt disillusionment with your life? Or frustration that it wasn't going the way you wanted it to? Or perhaps felt the resentment of a sudden setback that completely change the course of what you had planned. This was certainly my thinking at many different points in my life until I heard a metaphor that put it all into perspective.
If you have ever had the chance to witness the beauty of El Duomo de Firenze, the stunning Cathedral in Italy- then this might make sense. (or any other vast, artistic masterpiece for that matter) The fresco on the dome's ceiling is one of miraculous proportions, with details so intricate it's impossible to see it with the naked eye, a gaping mouth and a craned neck from the cathedral floor. The grand scale of it is so overwhelming it's truly too magnificent to take in with just our own two humble, human eyes- like trying to make sense of the entirety of your life all within the present moment.
It was explained to me once that we often look at our lives as if we were face to face with the design- right there up close with our nose touching the paint. We can see the acrylic cracking, the color isn't what we expected, and the proportion is off. We huff and we puff and we ask for a brush to change this close up version to our liking. Problem being, we can never see the entirety of the masterful design, but with hindsight we can often observe the wider perspective which suddenly makes sense. And you experience a glorious Ah ha! Like when my Achilles tendon snapped and my volleyball career was all over- but the bigger picture was a new lifestyle that was far better than the previous. Or even the small, everyday frustrations like a friend who cancels at the last minute and changes the course of the day- and something else reveals itself during that scheduled time- or perhaps it's not even noticeable until the following day, week or year. I harbored a nearly two decade resentment at my mom for an action she didn't take, but I had expected her to. Just a few years ago I realized how selfish my resentment was and released it. Come to find out just last week that she had a special reason why she made that choice twenty years ago, which would benefit me far greater at this current stage of my life, instead of back when I was a careless, irresponsible, world wanderer. That was one glorious Ah ha!
Often when I am feeling agitated about accepting what is, I imagine observing Giorgio Vasari's fresco of the Last Judgment laying on a ceiling platform as the artist did with his paints. Up close and personal with an easy opportunity to judge and criticize. But then the platform is lowered again and again revealing just a bit more of the divine design until I am overwhelmed with awe and stunned by its splendor. This helps me see that the challenges, disappointments and heartbreaks are all just simple strokes of the brush that make up the perfectly designed fresco of life.