I recently spoke to a young mom on the plane about her young children. It was so interesting to see the dynamics between her two children now how her oldest has someone else in the house to share space with. There were many times her eldest would do something that would land them in trouble, and they would say, I want attention!! I laughed and asked her to tell me more. She unfolded events that made me smile. There was one time the baby was in their little walker, just learning to reach their little toes to the floor to move around the room. When her eldest felt like they were not being heard loud enough, they pushed the walker to the wash room and closed the door like no one saw them and then they returned to their breakfast seat to once again gain center stage.
In aghast, the family all rushed to the washroom to retrieve the little one from their exile!!
It was clear this little one wanted all the attention and had not at their young age fully understood that their parents and grandparents still fully loved them and there was enough love for both of the kids!!! At times they would hold the little ones hand and talk as if to say, I am the big sibling and I love you, but then there were moments, they would totally surprise them by …. Well acting like a 3-year-old.
As I took my coffee out to the back lanai, I thought, how many times I acted like a 3-year-old in Gods eyes. How many times have I been jealous of someone else in my space or compared myself to another artist’s journey and thought, why do they have a bigger art studio or why are they selling more, or …. You get the idea, right?
I was humbled to think that I had spent too much time comparing myself to others and wanting what others had. When I did this, it took me away from what God really wanted me to think about, what He had for me all along. Once I stopped acting like a 3 year old and wasting time in the wrong head space, the sooner I could come back to what God had right before me. Comparing my journey and my successes to others always leaves me feeling empty and less grateful.
I listed Five (5) things to migrate my mind to a healthier place:
- Start the day off with meditation. For me it is with a good devotional, scripture and then a reflection of what was said and what it meant for me in my current situation. By taking my mind off of someone else’s journey I always start finding myself too busy pursuing my unique art, passions, and interests and the results are incredible.
- Prayer/Meditate. I ask God to set the day for me, allow me to see what He had for me. In doing this, I changed my heart from wanting what others have and opening my heart to see what God wanted for me, Believe me, it is ALWAYS better!! Going inward even if for a few moments a day, helps me get in touch with some of the deeper issues that are weighing on my heart to start healing. By focusing on what God has as my plan, and He has a mighty perfect plan, the less drawn I am to look outside for external, short-lived validation that will always fall short of satisfying the deepest yearnings of my soul. Remember God give us the desires of our heart, but we must have our arms open for this to happen, not closed tight.
- Gratitude Journaling. I do not do this often enough, but something about it changes our mindset immediately. I cannot tell you how important it is to take time to write down at least 5 to 10 things you are grateful for. All of a sudden others, what I might think of as having a perfect world, look small. On a certain day, it might by my health, the sun shining outside, or the fact that it is raining and I have nothing planned and can stay inside to paint all day or just that fact that I do have an incredible art studio instead of what I used to have which was a tiny corner. If I never took the time to appreciate what God had planned for me, I might still be in that corner complaining!!! Practicing gratitude makes it easier to focus on what I have, instead of what I do not have.
- Practice Self-Care. I know from starting into my journey of life currently that I have to take more time to care for myself. I talk about this in my series, “When Lilac’s Bloom” a series about getting older as a woman. Self-care includes anything that nurtures your mind, body, and spirit. I recently stared chair yoga as a step to grow into a more robust yoga practice. By just taking that time for ME, it is almost equal to my making my bed every day!!! (for those that know, you know). I also have started more of a practice of art journaling, cooking healthy bowls for dinner, and setting timers to stop and just walk more. I find I am less prone to allowing more destructive habit continue like letting an entire day go without moving around. Only I can do these things, no one else can motivate me into them!!
- Surround Myself with Positive People. This is sometimes hard as some of the people around me are NOT positive and are self-destructive but they are my family. I have heard that you become an average of the five people you spend the most time with, so if you’re not happy with any part of your life, it’s time to take a closer look at your social circle. I am still working on this as I am such an introvert!!! But I can shorten my time around those that are unhappy and negative and refresh my circle of friends to more positive people!!!
God promises in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Each one of us was put on this earth to fulfill a special purpose. God also gives us the talents and gifts to fulfill that purpose.
Psalm 37:4 also says: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” At the right time, God allowed in my life, my dream of being an artist. It was in His timing and not in my timing that this happened. I see this now.
12″ x 18″ Acrylic on Paper. “Silent Words”
If you do not know your journey or have even asked God to show you your journey, ask God today to show you what His path is for you. It is so heartbreaking to see someone NOT ask God or have the faith to take steps if God has shown you your path to step forward in total faith. If you don’t know your path or aren’t willing to ask God to show you yours, it can be emotionally debilitating to witness someone else fulfill their dream path.
I hope you find some peace in my words today.
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