Do you ever feel you are just peeking out at life? Are lots of different things crowding out the life you really want? Are you longingly looking past obligations you have created for yourself Or perhaps obligations others have put on you? Or maybe, your fears are keeping you from seeing real life? Maybe it’s time to do some weed whacking, even if they are pretty leaves.
One of the prompts for my art challenge this month was, ‘Overgrown.’ I’m practicing making a small ink drawing every day for a month.
In order to manage sketching every day this month, I had to plan ahead. Last month I chose the images I wanted to try to sketch. This meant I wouldn’t spend my ‘art’ time, scanning images.
Then I planned time in my day to do a light pencil sketch and also when I would actually do the ink work.
This is not an obligation or expectation from anyone else. It is a challenge I set for myself. Nothing bad will happen if I fail to ink every day. I don’t get demerits or a summons to court or even ridicule from my peers. It has been a good exercise in choosing my obligations. I have found creative ways to keep my commitment without missing out on other important things in my life.
Though this is an obligation of time every day for a month, it has rich benefits for me personally. First, it is helping me in time management. It is also helping me get comfortable with the lovely pen my husband gave me over a year ago. I am learning to control my hand-eye coordination better every day. This whole experience is helping me grow as an artist.
Not every obligation is like this. There are obligations we have not put on ourselves. We no longer have a parent looking over our shoulder and pointing out our shortcomings. But we may still be letting those sharp criticisms or harsh judgements crowd out the joys in our lives. Are there ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ in your life that keep you running in your hamster wheel? Have you ever asked God if those are obligations He wants you to continue to fill?
Perhaps your parents, either say or imply that since they paid for your education, you should be climbing the corporate ladder. You may have done that for a number of years while you saved and invested your money wisely. Now you are married and have a baby. You long to step off the ladder, do some commission work from home and enjoy your child’s formative years. Even if it means you won’t be adding much to your treasure in the bank, you could be gaining great treasure in helping your child be successful in life.
Our fears may keep us from enjoying life as we were meant to. We can be peeking out at life from behind our mesh of fears. For many years I would not speak in public because I was afraid I would fail. That hasn’t been a problem for a long time now. Yet there are still times when I could speak, but prefer to just watch from the sidelines.
Recently my fear of not having done anything really worthwhile with my life has allowed a weed patch of disappointment, discouragement, and resentment for all the hard work I put into endeavors that have apparently not produced any fruit.
I’m ready to do some weed whacking. How about you? Are there commitments in your life that are suffocating the life out of you? How about fears? Are there some that you can recognize, call by name, and kick out?
God helping us, we can clear the rubble so that we can build for eternity.