I used to make New Years resolutions, long ago, and then I stopped. But I read somewhere recently that making New Years resolutions was a way of committing to living your life. To caring about yourself, so to speak. So I woke up on New Years Day with a desire to do just that. Instead of writing down my resolutions I grabbed a couple of canvases and expressed them visually.
I've been quite the caretaker in my life. Always putting the other guy first. Taking care of those who were in my life to be taken care of. Originally it was born from necessity, this caretaking trait of mine. Becoming a mom at 16 years old was a lot of responsibility. I wanted to be a good mom. I naively swore that my children wouldn't suffer for having a mom so young. It was tough. But I thought I was tough too. I would find myself in a tough situation and say "well if I don't pull us through this who will?"
I really didn't have the skills to know the difference between what I was responsible for and what I wasn't. I easily slid into the mentality of having to earn respect and prove myself to others by not only covering what I was responsible for, but what I wasn't responsible for as well. I tried to earn my way to happiness and love. When you live this way for too long, you find that life really isn't working the way it should.
The left side of the canvas represents this life that I had pieced together, with pockets of beauty here and there, but held together very precariously. My past life as a teen mom, a wife, a divoreced woman, remarriage, step-parent, a child of an alcoholic, a scared little girl full of turmoil inside and confident looking caretaker on the outside
There is an expression I have learned since becoming a Christian. One of those "christianese" kind of things that goes something like "God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to leave you that way."
Today I am thanking him that this is true. He has allowed me to come to the very end of myself. I can't take care of it all by myself. I can't be everything for everybody. I can only be what he designed me to be.
The right side of the canvas represents my life now. I don't know exactly what I am doing. I don't know exactly where I am going. On the outside it might look like turmoil but inside there is a growing peace as I keep my eyes on the Lord and continue to learn who I am and who I was made to be. It is a new year. I resolve to follow His lead, to learn, to grow and embrace the change that He has planted in me.
Both sides of the canvas work together. Together it is a picture of life. Growth. Change. Peace.
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