It is hard for me not to compare myself with others especially when it comes to painting. It was a long time before I would allow anyone to see my work. Five years ago, just before moving from Portland, a friend came for a visit and noticed I had not framed anything. When asked why, I replied that I was waiting to get good. That was only part of the reason the other was my own insecurity. I only had to walk into a gallery or museum to have proof that my work wasn’t “as good” as some. My insecurity wouldn’t allow me to see that at times it was better than others. “I” didn’t want to get rejected.
My insecurities roared its head on Sunday. I had donated to my church the painting I did during the previous Sunday’s service and it is to be auctioned off silently over the next four weeks. Shirley Dickenson wasn’t able to make it through the snow that day did her painting at home and brought it in and she also donated it to the church for auction. Our paintings did not compare. Hers was amazing. Why was my first reaction to grab my painting and find the first dark closet to hide in? I took that question to bed with me last night. I awoke this morning with no solid answers but with a few insights.
I had confused the painter (me) with the painting. I didn’t want to be rejected. It was my ego that wanted to find a closet. It was my ego that feared no one would bid on my painting. I love Wayne Dyer’s definition of ego as being when we Edge God Out - E.G.O. When I set my ego aside and let God in I found I can enjoy that I loved painting on that snowy Sunday morning. I loved being able to paint during a church service as a reminder that God has given us many gifts including his son whose birth we were about to celebrate. I loved being surrounded by good people and good music. I loved that I felt such a peace flow over me while I was painting. I also love that although she couldn’t be with us that Sunday morning, Shirley felt connected enough to paint at home and share her gift with us later. I love how connected I feel to Shirley, to Amy and the others at church, to God and to you. I really do feel gifted in so many ways.