This painting was done in Painter, using oils, liquid inks and pencils. I am using it because it is entitled Strong Spirit. That is what I have.
I started this blog to write about fibromyalgia and lyme disease. My intention was to write how my belief in a God of my understanding, coupled with affirmations, gratitude and positive thought had allowed me to find a peaceful, fulfilling life in spite of these chronic illnesses.
Then, practicing those things led me back to being able to do art, and art has pretty much been the focus of this blog.
Today, I want to write about positive thinking.
I came across the idea of having God in my life and thinking positive about 30 years ago. I began reading a lot of varied books on many religions. I put together an idea of what God is for me, personally. I believe there is something that holds us all together. I believe that we are all connected in some way. I believe that when I, or someone else, does something negative or harmful, it affects us all.
I believe in taking personal responsibility for myself and what I can change. As I read and researched, I concluded that the only thing in this world that is possible for me to change is me. I can’t change you. I can, however, change how I react to you.
This was working fine, and life was going along real sweet. I was a textile/mixed media artist. My work was starting to sell. I was having shows in galleries. I had been in a group show at a very prestigious museum here in Seattle. I won awards for my art. Life looked good. Positive thinking and a belief in a God of my understanding was working.
Oops, I got sick. I didn’t just get sick, I got completely disabled and unable to do anything but lay in bed and wonder when I was going to die. Doctors said I was crazy. No one, absolutely no one would help me.
Friends and family walked away. As they left, they said “Screw, you. You’re a little liar, you’re not sick, just crazy.”
OK. I got mad. I got angry, I got resentful, hateful, mean-spirited, the whole thing. I threatened to divorce my husband of over 30 years. I was one sick, miserable person.
Where had it all gone? What was happening? One day I woke up, and could stand myself no longer. I vaguely recalled what I had practiced just before I became sick. I was very dubious. I figured, this stuff works when things go well, God is there when I’m happy. But what happens when the pedal hits the metal? It’s all gone.
Hmm. Perhaps I had missed something. “OK”, I said, find something to be positive about. What? I can’t remember what I found, but I found one small thing. Like breathing or something. I practiced being grateful. I said affirmations. I worked at it. I was not convinced, but I went on with the teeny, tiny bit of faith I had left.
It worked. Just as negative things build and grow larger and become overwhelming, so do positive things. It built up. I found more things to be positive about.
Don’t get me wrong, it was slow going.