A dear friend of mine is a very talented artist. She reaches down, deep within her imagination and paints pictures never before seen. The pictures, stamped with her unique soul print, are magical. I marvel at her final products.
I’m thrilled that she isn’t shy about sharing what she creates; I am one of the first folks she will share them with. And I am so honored when she does.
She constantly asks me if I think her paintings are any good; if they might be good enough to be able to approach gallery owners or art fairs someday. If I had a dime for every time I said, “Yes, you are ready now!” I could retire. But, in my opinion, what’s more important is that she views them with pride simply because she created them. “What does it matter if someone else likes them? Let it be enough that you do.”
My words fall upon deaf ears again and again, but it doesn’t preclude me from continuing to say them. My positive wish is that one day the value she perceives in her paintings will be in tact whether or not anyone else appreciates or purchases them. I hope that someday her joy in creating them will be enough and the approval of others will be icing on a cake that is already very, very sweet.
I recognize that my friend connects with herself while she paints yet doesn’t otherwise. I know for a fact that she has never looked at herself in the mirror with appreciation and encouragement. Perhaps if she gave herself a “You GO, girl!” from time to time, I think she would find more satisfaction in her daily journey rather than awaiting someone else’s endorsement in order to feel valuable or worthy.
Do you feel as if you are more complete when someone else praises you? Do you often seek others’ encouragement? Nobody knows what to say to you that will melt your heart more than you do. Why wait for someone else to acknowledge you in ways that are meaningful to you when you can cut to the chase and learn to appreciate and encourage yourself first?
Think about all of the times you doubted your ability to survive challenging situations, yet you did. Remember how often you questioned your ability to do something and you did it with flying colors. Isn’t that worth celebrating? Aren’t YOU worth acknowledging? The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding “YES!”
Make a shift today. Today, recall a situation that you didn’t think you’d survive, but you did. Now look at yourself in the mirror. Really look into your eyes. Yes, really. Now, say your name, then say, “I acknowledge you for surviving [that situation].” Say your name again, and say, “I appreciate you for being you. You are stronger and more beautiful than you give yourself credit for, and I acknowledge that in you today.” Look into your eyes for another moment and smile. You deserve it!
Do this at least once every day. It might feel stupid or embarrassing at first, but in time, (and perhaps in not much time at all!) you will feel a wonderfully life affirming shift. Use this simple technique to help you morph from relying on an end result for your happiness to finding true satisfaction and fun in your daily journey. That is where your true artistry lies.