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Being Better

Hello again, bloggers!  I hope you had a fabulous Wednesday that was in no way hump-like!  If you did, well at least it’s just about over.  Not too long ago, I felt the hump in humpday like nobody’s business.  But nowadays, weekdays and weekends are somewhat indistinguishable, a pleasant continuum.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about change.  Not the type of change of which we can be assured –  the weather, the seasons, circumstances,  the aches and pains that accumulate with age.   I’m not talking about that.   There are the infatuations that accompany youth and sometimes  visit us during the crises of middle age.  We eventually get over all of them.  Then there are the worthy lovers who have transformed us and then left, plowing deep trenches across our souls that leave us wondering if we’ll ever heal.  We do.  There are those occasional strings of good fortune we savor and pray will go on forever but which at some point, inevitably end.  And then there are the periods of seemingly interminable and profound sadness.  These, too, always pass. I’m not talking about these things.

I’m talking about the type of change we realize we must make within if we want to be better people.   Not more successful, wealthy, or esteemed people.  Just better people who deserve good things such as love and happiness.  It is a challenge which for many, feels insurmountable. Many of us spend so much of our adult lives mourning the cursed traumas of our youths, unconsciously reenacting these episodes with our friends and lovers, over and over again, confirming to ourselves that this is the life we deserve.  It’s exhausting.  We become disgusted with ourselves, miserable, jealous, hateful.

But you guys!  There are always moments of clarity which show us exactly what we need to do in order to be happy. But these golden nuggets of self-transformation go largely ignored.  Why?  Because miserable is the norm for us.  It’s what we know and how we have lived most of our lives.  Making this type of change would turn our worlds, our sense of the way things should be, upside down.

Fortunately, I think I’ve worked through a good chunk of the yucky stuff within myself, at least those traits that might have put barriers between me and love.  There’s still plenty more work to do on myself, I’m fully aware.  But there are people in my life for whom I care deeply that just can’t seem to will the change within themselves that will allow them to experience love.

I have advice.  It could be used as a mantra.  It may seem ridiculously simple.  And after you read it, you may say out loud, “Whuuuuut? Who does this girl think she is?”  Elaboration will follow.  Are you ready?  Here it is.

If you want to be loved, give love.

I’m tempted to capitalize give.  OK, I will.  GIVE.  Give, whether it is your assistance, time, effort, a thoughtful gesture, a home-cooked meal, a note of gratitude, or some yummy dark chocolate.  Give.  Take the focus off of you, what you didn’t get growing up, what you deserve now.  Take the focus off of how you appear, what you have to prove, or how you may feel insufficient, and give.   I promise, if you lavish in the joy of making someone else happy, you yourself will be made happy.  The more you do it, the more you’ll like it, and the less you’ll expect anything in return beyond a smile or a hug.

Speaking of loving gestures – I’ve been knitting like a “mutha” trying to finish a basic sweater for my man.  Boy, is there a lot of love in every stitch!  This is my first attempt at making a sweater, well a sweater for a human, that is.  Pupusa and Mabu got sweaters before Jonathan, but let’s not remind him about that.  I had no idea making a sweater would take this long – I think I’ve worked on it every evening for about 90 days!  Good thing I enjoy knitting!  I’ve been joking with him that given all the time I’ve put into it, it should be an heirloom that we pass down to our young’uns!   He’s been joking that if I don’t finish it soon, he won’t get to wear it until next year.  Pix will post shortly.

Anyway, all of this ruminating came about as I was making this card of encouragement for someone special in my life.

Distress ink blended onto the leaves and also used for the sentiment

As I was looking through my stamps, I came across this sentiment, which got me thinking about willing change within ourselves.

Card of Encouragement - full view

Pretty gingko leaf die cuts popped up on dimensionals and new background stamp that I'm playing around with

Love this green and psyched about the color match on the ribbon!

Card of Encouragement - got a nice color match with the ribbon

I made a video tutorial to go with, but I’m afraid my camera is broken – pooh.  All the footage is full of lines and static.  So, until that situation is rectified, you won’t be able to listen to my nasally voice.  But I will post photos of my various creations right here.

In order to get to this simple card, I first went in a totally different direction with this project below that in the end, I didn’t like so much.

Focal Image

I had been thinking about transformation and how beautifully butterflies embody that word.

Heavy on texture and color with the frame

But the card, though full of texture I love, ultimately didn’t give the feeling I wanted.  I think I’ll try this embossing technique again with a more simplified color palette.

Sentiment on the inside with monochromatic strip that I like better than the ones on the front

Kept the sentiment and scrapped the rest.  It was fun playing around though.  I hope to have some new paintings to share with you soon, too!

Until the next post, happy blogging!

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