There is no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside of them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself. Herman Hesse
That quote from Herman Hesse is a special one to me.
I am a Christian woman, who believes strongly that I have a power that resides inside my soul that is unbreakable, unchangeable, and eternal.
This power is the source of my strength, my joy, it is my lifeline.
I read a study once that attempted to prove that no two people experience reality the same way.
They showed color cards to 200 people and had them describe the color to them.
As would be expected…the color blue was not seen the same way twice. They all identified it as being blue, but that is where the similaritys ended. When asked to further describe the color, the answers were varied amongst the participants.
The truth is, we are all unique.
We even see the color blue in our own unique way.
So based on the findings of this study, why would you ever try to conform to someone elses idea of who you should be?
When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I was content with being part of the “Herd” so to speak.
I did what everyone else did.
I wore what everyone else wore.
I went to church where everyone else went.
I was suffocating in my own life.
For those of you who know me personally, I have a HUGE personality. I can walk into a room full of people, (and if I want to be) I can be the center of attention in under 5 minutes.
In fact, that is actually my comfort zone… the center of attention.
(Ya, I am one of those people…;) )
But for over 10 years, I had allowed that part of me to lie dormant. To all but disappear.
But when my husband left us, I had no choice but dig deep within to find the strength and courage to raise my family alone.
He forced me to go inside…to find my power.
That is why I strongly believe that even in the darkest hours, we are held up, sustained and supported by a power that is beyond our human comprehension.
And that power is not going to be found outside of yourself.
It is an invisible force that requires a quiet mind and heart to communicate to.
It requires Faith.
I don’t know if it even matters what name you call this inner power. I think that a true, honest and genuine connection with it goes beyond it needing a name, or assigning any religious beliefs to it.
It simply requires an act of faith that God really is there. That he has always been there, and always will be, no matter what.
My personality is stronger than ever now. I am back to being the person I was in my childhood. But I am no longer a child.
I am a woman.
I am a mother.
I am an artist.
Even with a life that includes new love, art, and true vocation I must continue to choose, as I did in my youth to rage against mediocrity.
To dare to dream the unreasonable dream.
To dedicate my life each and every morning to the Lord.
To give him permission to move “ME” out-of-the-way so that his work can be fulfilled in my life.
So that I can be a light that shines through the darkness that surrounds me every day.
I choose every day, to take up my stand against the settling in, settling down, being normal, and even concepts like ‘doing my best’.
Can we talk about the tryant knows as, ” Doing our best” a minute?
I didn’t, and don’t want to do my best nor shall I promise it to anyone.
More than winning or besting, I wanted to discover and be me.
This is a very different feeling quest than ‘best’.
What does BEST even mean?
Who is the person that defined BEST anyway?
It is not easy for any of us, as you know, to discover our own true holy meaning of self in the best of circumstances.
But when you add to this quest the pressure of other people’s ideas of greatness you are setting yourself up for pain and failure.
This is a system of living that I want NO PART of.
I only want greatness that is specific to my own gifts.
This life is not about giving my best, which is usually someone else’s interpretation of what a good job is.
The work of becoming unique at first doesn’t appear outwardly to others as ‘doing one’s best’.
But ‘best’ isn’t performance based when…you are an artist on the inside.
I have created many paintings that to someone else may have appeared to be haphazard or messy or not of service to anyone but my own soul.
But when they were completed, I was also a more complete person.
So for me they were extremely powerful, and they were absolutely PERFECT.
Becoming yourself is messy work (at best) and others looking in might wonder if you have gone mad.