Here’s to self- reflection and choosing to find the good:
It’s 2:00 in the morning and here’s to another sleepless night due to being sick with endless coughing and aches.
Typically being tired like this would leave me frustrated and contributing to negativity by counting how many hours I WOULDN’T sleep & focusing on all the negative thoughts and feelings with the responsibilities that tomorrow holds both inside and after work too. While I would really like to gripe and complain about everything wrong, focusing in on or diving into any of this negativity is counterproductive at this point.
I’m up, I’m sick, I have a right to not feel great, and right at this moment there’s nothing I can do to change my circumstances. I accept this.
I have medicine to help heal me and I will get better in due time.
So I choose instead to reflect on the goodness I found in today despite these negative factors I encounter:
It started with a small act of kindness from a colleague who decided to give me her tea she brought so I could have a bottle to put my water in, since I left mine at home. I tried to NOT accept this because it was hers, but of course she won this and gave it to me whether I wanted her to or not. Such a wonderful heart she has and I am blessed to know her and have her in my life.
This seemingly small tea incident fueled me to pass forward that sacrifice and willingness on into my interactions and through to all I encountered on one of my busiest back to back group days of the week.
I was so touched to see so much willingness and being open to consider solutions outside of just their own to find a desired resolution for what each person had in mind to create.
Each was blown away with the outcome of their individual projects. I will share 3 pictures, keep in mind each of these 3 did something they’d never done,… NONE of them prior to my art groups had ever painted before, and all 3 allowed themselves to be uncomfortable and push through that discomfort rather than give up in order to grow.
The first picture is by someone I’ve worked a long while with and watched transform from negativity and unwillingness, refusing to participate, and then finally did and unwilling to accept feedback or try new things, and then in time did this, and I helped show him how to see the world through an artists eyes and showed him what I knew, and just when I think he would get stuck in that new “comfortable” technique (which, by the way he is a pro at now, no exaggeration)… he tells me HE WANTS TO TRY SOMETHING NEW HE’S SCARED TO DO AND UNCOMFORTABLE WITH- a complete change- so I gave him homework to watch a Bob Ross video. I never imagined he would follow through but dayum. I looked up and saw this incredible artwork, which was his very first ever attempt at painting anything with color (he knows and is a pro now at silhouette paintings). I was blown away. So proud of him. Now we discuss his art and from time to time he will ask which of his ideas I think is better, knowing most times I’ll end up making him find the answer himself through my asking questions and reflecting what’s already there. He can do it all confidently and independently now. Job well done, he no longer needs me. Fly away little bird!
Next is a guy who also was stuck in his ways and super closed off, he had every answer, and that’s fine because it’s his artwork. Initially he’d ask something but not willing to try it… in time he grew open to suggestion, and today he was able to listen with an open mind and take step by step direction in which he then created what is the second art picture you see,… he was trying to find a way to stay longer after group ended. Haha! Always those who try to avoid or escape in the beginning end up being those who I have to force to leave in the end. Too cool.
Finally, this individual, “I can’t paint” reciter, (just as all these individuals have told me about themselves in the beginning), she went from drawing stick figures yesterday to wanting to learn and being open to changing and looking again at her goal she could explain but not illustrate, from an outside perspective, and even though she hasn’t completed it all yet, (still needs to fill in and finish the moon) but WOW. I told her she no longer was allowed to use that “I can’t paint” as an excuse anymore because she very obviously CAN PAINT, and very well too.
Seeing and knowing the excitement and passion that awakens in these individuals I work with and showing them THEY ARE GOOD AT THINGS, FUN THINGS, SOBER FUN THINGS, this being a part of seeing that confidence in themselves and ability to try new healthy things, THIS is why I will go the extra bit and give so much energy and effort into what I do, and offer help individually to those who request it— if I can find that excitement and awaken a passion and new skill/hobby/interest, it’s totally worth it.
Because it’s those emails I receive later on after they leave and venture back out into the real world that include gorgeous artwork and an update on life, continued passion for their new interest and hobby, and living life in recovery. Hearing how art continues to act as a positive sober coping skill in daily life,… this is what I love and live for.
So I choose to do my best in this moment to take opportunity in this time I’m awake to reflect and share some goodness and hope rather than anger and negative outlooks due to unavoidable temporary struggles.
This too shall pass.