Persistence and Confidence

I don’t give up easily.  I’m persistent.  I’m as tenacious as a migraine. I’m a survivor.  I won’t let this stop me.  I am a winner!

You’ve heard those words before; maybe you’ve even said them.  They’re positive affirmations, sentences loaded with confidence.  I use these kinds of sentences every day.  I say them out loud, write them down, say them again.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I believe in myself and my abilities.  Getting there took encouragement from family and friends, even therapy.  These people helped, but nobody else could believe in me for me.  Nothing they could do or say could make me believe that I was a valid person with potential.  I barely believed it myself when I took a step forward and decided to start a Facebook page for my art.  That’s because confidence comes from doing.

Unless you step out and actually take initiative on your dreams, they don’t have a chance of coming true.  Right now, things aren’t going exactly the way I thought they would, with my plans.  Still, I’m persistent and I’ll keep on trying.  Even if things don’t work out the way that I would like them to, I still tried.

Being persistent might mean looking fear of rejection in the face and saying, “So what, let them think what they want to think about me, say what they want to say.  It’s not stopping me from going after my dreams”.  Or, It might mean making an investment of time, and/or money.  Either way, it’s a risk.  You get up, every day, deciding that you’re going to keep on trying.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from suffering with chronic pain, it’s that I’m tough.  I won’t let a little roadblock get in the way of my dreams.  I’m persistent.  I can’t make you believe in yourself.  Only you can believe in yourself enough to make the positive changes you might need to in your life.  I can only share my story with you, hoping that I gave you something worth reading, that will help you in your life.

Believe in who you are.  You are a valid person with the right to go after your dreams.  Be persistent and never give up.  Write these words down, post them where you’ll see them, and say them often.  (Even if, right now, you don’t believe them.)  There is power in the spoken word:

I don’t give up easily.

I’m persistent.

I’m as tenacious as a migraine.

I’m a survivor.

I won’t let this stop me.

I am a winner!

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Aware

 

As we mature, we experience lots of changes.  I’m on a journey of personal change.  I’m growing as a person, becoming aware of who I am, changing the things that I can, letting go of things that I cannot.

While I was creating my drawing ‘Aware’, I thought about this process of personal growth.  After I scanned it, I realized that my scanner didn’t accurately pick up the
colors that I used.  The original colors are distorted.  The original drawing is on a bright pink background, with lines in another shade of pink, black, and some gold.  If you look carefully, you’ll see a few faces and a fish hidden in this drawing.  You might find some other shapes.  When I became aware that my lines had formed the shape of a face I added the eye that you see in the middle, towards the top.

The black lines represent those painful things in life that we have let go of.  Letting go
of these things creates distinct changes in us.  Though other people my not know
exactly what we’ve had to release, the change deeply impacts our personalities and they can see this difference.  I’ve become aware of things that I needed to change.  They were as obvious to me as those black lines.  I changed what I could by letting go of the things that I could not.

The pink lines represent the experiences of our past.  They’re part of the entire picture, they’re presence is known, but they aren’t as pronounced as the other lines.  They’re the faded memories, happy and sad.

The golden lines represent what we can do with our experiences.  We can turn them into ‘golden cords’.  Our experiences can make me more compassionate towards others who suffer, and that compassion can enable us to help others who have had some of
the same experiences.  We use our good experiences to make life better for
ourselves and others.

I created a different version of this drawing, by enhancing it with my computer.
I completely changed the colors of the lines, but they’re still there.  The entire picture–the person we are–will continue to change.  The lines will be there, more and more lines of change will appear.  We are works ever-changing art, masterpieces in progress.

Flutter by, Butterfly

I love butterflies.  They are flying splashes of color that brighten up spring, summer, and fall days.  They sport the garment of the glory of the divine. One day, while at a local park, I saw the most beautiful yellow butterfly.  It had black designs on its wings; its design was nothing short of spectacular.  There was a little girl nearby with her mother.I said, ‘Oh, look at the beautiful butterfly!’  The little girl echoed my sentiments by saying, “It is so pretty!”  Then, she stepped on it, squashing it with her foot.  I was crushed.The butterfly in my drawing, ‘Flutter By’ was intentional.  It didn’t just appear there, the way the other images usually do in my drawings.  Though, some of the lines were starting to form a butterfly shape, so I turned them into a butterfly.These beautiful creatures are messengers of change and metamorphosis.  Native Americans and other cultures have attached great spiritual significance to them.  After all, butterflies do go through great changes to be come the splendid creatures that drift about among our flowers so freely.  I’ve often wondered about the little girl who stepped on the butterfly.  Did she, at some point, experience some change that made her learn
to respect all living things?

I’ve experienced lots of changes in recent years.  Many of these changes were brought about by the tremendous physical pain I live with.  Just like the lines in my drawings
form things that I didn’t plan, the pain in my life has caused change that has
caught some people off guard.

I won’t apologize for becoming my own person.  I won’t apologize for feeling the way I do.  Though, I will apologize for the things I do and say if someone else takes
offense to them, even if I never intended for them to be hurt.

Look for the ‘butterfly moments’ in your life.  They’re those passing moments that teach us about life.  I learned a lot when the little girl, a symbol of innocence, snuffed out the life of a butterfly, the symbol of freedom and change.  The contrast that existed in this moment spoke of how life can take you by surprise.  Some things you can prepare for, others you cannot.

Appreciating the beautiful things that exist in my world has helped me to get through each horrendous moment of pain.  So, flutter by, butterfly.  Just make sure you stop
for a minute so I can experience your splendor and learn from you.  We are both
changing.

It’s How You See It…

 

There’s something mysterious happening when I draw these abstract pieces.  I love birds and horses, carousels, people.  All of those have mysteriously appeared in my art.  I didn’t plan for the carousel horse to show up in ‘Carousel’.  I didn’t plan for the faces of a man and a woman to show up in ‘Wistful’.  I didn’t plan for the birds to show up in ‘Birds in Hiding’.  Could it be that I‘m over thinking this?  Maybe it’s not mysterious, at all.  People have a tendency to attach their own ideas, perceptions to the divine.  That’s why we have so many religions in the world.

Maybe these things that appear in my work are manifestations of my sub conscious.  I think about birds all the time.  I love to hear their cheerful tunes when I awake.  There’s a little park around the corner from my house where it seems that all the birds in town gather in the evening.  I often go there just to sit and listen to all the chirping.  Is this
why the birds are showing up? Maybe it’s just because I use lots of curved lines
in my drawings.

I could say something spiritual the whole experience and say that my work is trying to tell me something. And, it just may be.  Though, I don’t want to go off the deep end and start assuming that there is a hidden message in everything I draw.
One thing is true about all of this:  I enjoy creating these pieces. If there is a hidden message in my art, it would be this:

Every person interprets things differently.  Some people take a look at what I create
and don’t see the hidden images.  Others stare at them a long time, fascinated
with the things that seems to appear out of nowhere.  We’re all different and have different views.  Those views are based on our experiences, backgrounds, and cultures.  We can all learn something from every person and situation in  our lives.  We don’t have to agree on how we see things.  Though respecting the other person’s right to see things how they choose to is key to living in peace with one another.