Why Even Try?

October 31, 2016

Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.
Wendell Berry

Do you ever feel like giving up? I have a teenaged son. If feel like giving up all the time. Nothing I say or do appears to make any difference in his behavior. I can see how the choices he makes now will affect his future. I can’t and won’t shield him from the consequences of his behavior. It’s really, really, really hard. I am positive that at some point he will figure out his life … but for now it’s painful.

Why keep trying? Because I love him. Because I keep a flame of hope tight in my heart that something will stick. Something that he can turn to and remember someday. I keep trying because of the regrets I know I’ll face if I don’t do everything I can to teach him to be a kind, responsible, contributing member of the human race. 

What is the Worst that Could Happen?

I kind of have a little obsession with lists. I constantly forget things so lists are my main coping mechanism. I made a list about giving up on my son. What are the best and worst things that could happen if I give up? Best? For now he might think he’s happier. I still don’t think I’d sleep any better at night. Worst? He might secretly think I’ve given up on him.

What would happen if you made a list every time you felt blocked by fear or doubt? Are you are afraid that you will get rejected from a show you’ve always wanted to enter? Are you afraid trying a new direction in your artwork will turn in to a big fat mess? Write down the very worst that could happen. For me, it’s just that I’m out a chunk of money and time for the entry. There really is no other negative consequence that I can think of to being rejected. Now think about the best things that could happen? Exposure? Sales? Awards? Recognition? Satisfaction? Your work might touch someone’s soul. You can make a difference. 

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
Soren Kierkegaard

Remember What You Love!

Remember who you are. (An Artist!) Remember what you love. Make choices so that you won’t live with regret. It might be a struggle. You might not see results immediately… it takes love and perseverance and an awful lot of work to see your efforts come to fruition. There will be setbacks. There will be struggles. There will be rejection.

There will also be results. There will be the satisfaction of knowing you didn’t give up. There will be growth and yes, perhaps, even success. Don’t. Give. Up.

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
Willa Cather

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