As some of you know, in addition to being a therapist, I am also an artist. My preferred medium is silk painting. I love the vibrancy of the finished product. I also enjoy the process of silk painting and the unexpected things that can happen while you are working on a piece. Even though I love the unexpected aspects of the process of silk painting, when I start a piece I usually have an image or idea in my head about what I want the finished product to look like. This image is neat and clean and often only vaguely related to the finished product.
As I work on a piece, there are specific steps that need to be taken. Each step changes and affects the work I have already done. What often happens as I work on a piece is I fall in love with the step I just completed. And inevitably, the next step changes what I just fell in love with. I never know what it is really going to look like until the piece has been ‘set’ either through steaming or chemical setting. So even if I think I know what the finished piece looks like, there can still be those final, last minute unanticipated changes.
When I first finished the scarf pictured with this blog, I was disappointed in the finished product. Since I could objectively see that the finished product was actually pretty cool, I was trying to figure out what my disappointment was about. I realized that when I compared the finished product with my initial vision, my expectation of what the final product would look like, the scarf was a little messy, a little wild. But it was also vibrant, engaging, and effervescent. My disappointment made me realize how often I do not enjoy or appreciate what is because it is not what I expected. How much do we miss out on because we are too busy judging or feeling disappointed because is not what we thought it should be?
Another thing that realized was the adjectives that I applied to the scarf could easily be applied to me. Yes, I am a little messy and wild but I am also vibrant, engaging, and effervescent. How often do I judge myself negatively for not being something? I should be focusing on what I am. We are told throughout our life who and what we are supposed to be. What if we gave ourselves a break and appreciated ourselves for what we are instead of focusing on what we are not?
Today I encourage you to appreciate what you are, even if you are a little messy and wild too. Enjoy and appreciate the unexpected in life. How boring would it be if it all turned out the way we expected?