Saturday, February 13, 2010

Believe

We all have insecurities. Not all of us have been blessed with encouraging parents and teachers and mentors. I've been blessed with all three and still struggle with self-doubt now and then.


I can't help but compare myself with artists I admire and wonder if I'll ever achieve the success they enjoy. I have to stop, turn around, step up on my soapbox and give myself the very lecture I give to everyone else. (Yes, I am an oldest child and have no trouble being bossy. I've worked very hard to develop a very gentle and encouraging manner - but it still comes out bossy.)

I say to myself, "Lyric, you can't compare yourself to anyone else. Sure, you haven't made more than a handful of pieces in the past umpteen years but you HAVE accomplished other things. You wrote a book for goodness sakes! That's something. None of your children are in jail! That's something too. (Of course, they have quite a way to go yet so you still need to keep your eye on the kids.) The book's done now so if you would just get off the computer you could get some artwork done. Not as much as (insert name here) but a few pieces would be nice. Those amazing artists who produce a painting a day or a quilt every week are not driving back and forth to preschool and hockey and lessons and rehearsals and scouts and meetings and school and ...... Well. You get the idea. There is a time and a season for everything. Be happy with now. Run any faster and you'll fall over and that wouldn't be a pretty sight!!!" That's what I says to myself says I!


I believe that there is a time for everything. Seasons and all that lovely poetic stuff. It's really true.


If your struggle is that you think it's not good enough maybe your little lecture should be about giving yourself time and permission to learn. It's the old Carnegie Hall schtick. Practice, practice, practice. Too many of us (especially coming from the traditional quilt world) think that if we aren't close to perfect right away then we are no good at a thing. It takes time to learn and grow.

If your struggle is that it might not turn out the way you wanted it to, perhaps your lecture should be about how every "failure" brings you one step closer to success. I don't have failures any more. I have many, many "learning opportunities" and quite a few "happy accidents." Each is valuable. Figure out how to let go some of the control and let things be.


This is where my kids would roll their eyes and say, "mom, you're lecturing again." It's O.K. I'll stop. But just one more thing. Tell yourself something often enough and you'll believe it. Doesn't matter whether the something is negative or positive. So take a deep breath, and choose to BELIEVE that you can do it. You will succeed.

7 comments:

Jackie said...

THANK YOU!

I needed to hear that, esp the part about making it in the art quilt world.

Lisa said...

You are inspiring, Sis! You speak in truth and wisdom. Love you!

Melly Testa said...

You can lecture me anytime. It doesn't feel bossy. It feels gentle and encouraging. I am not rolling my eyes.

lyric said...

Melly - you must not be a teenager. You can say "I made your favorite dinner" and they would still roll their eyes.
I just roll my eyes back at them and laugh. And sometimes they're right.

I'll call ya'll next time I feel the urge to lecture coming on!
;-)

Lisa said...

I like your lecture! Hope you are taking your own words to heart. So much easier to tell others what to do than it is to take our own advice. ;) Thanks for the talk!

Jane LaFazio said...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I love this quote from Marianne Williamson....

Laura Lea said...

Lyric, silly you, you forgot to mention that you are also a teacher (time consuming too) and mentor to others. You know you were blessed to have as you put it all three (gee with only one cuppa coffee I can't remember the third one). So you give of yourself in this way. I know also that you are humble enough to say that you learn from your students. In teaching something you gain a deeper understanding of it for yourself too; being a teacher I'm always looking to learn new things so that when I teach first graders how to read I know what it feels like! I grew up without any support of my artistic side. My inner critic needed a bossy but gentle Lyric to encourage the artist and to help her tell her negative shadow to get in the closet and stay there! Just as you were saying there is a season for everything. Now the Mom role has center stage and you'll be glad for this time later in life as I am. I've forgotten all the things I couldn't do when I was Mom full time. When the empty nesters moan around you, I know where you'll be tootling a song and moving your hips as you pull another screen, dye another yard, stitch another art quilt and revel in your creations! To everything there is a season...