"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."
I read this quote today and it hit me - my last post about creating was only slightly written out of a heart and mind of gratitude. Like, I am very grateful for the truths that I mentioned I'm doing my best to hold onto and claim daily. But half of me feels like if I was really grateful for them - if I really believed them - my life and business would look and function a lot differently.
You know what was really at the heart and mind of my last post on creating? Fear. Fear of people. Fear of failure. Fear of missing out. Creating is a very vulnerable activity. But it seems as though instead of being grateful for the opportunity, materials and the very act of creating - I am usually to afraid of what will become of my creation.
But this quote, it brings me back to the point of why we create, make, paint or construct art in the first place - because we are joyful and grateful. I believe thankfulness is one of the biggest motivators. It can drive us to do better, work harder and feel stronger - because we realize what we have and who we are because of what we've been given.
Now I know sometimes, many times, beautiful things are born out of not very beautiful circumstances. But I feel that the pieces created in response to hard times, show the grateful heart that down deep is rising up to overcome - to notice there is something to be grateful for, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
Now wouldn't you believe that one of the greatest lessons God taught me in 2013 was that 'Thankfulness can conquer so much fear!'. Hard to believe that I came to this understanding last Fall - literally one year ago. At that time in my life, I was believing these words with great hope for even more things I would soon have to be grateful for - to leave my corporate job, to go full-time with my photography, to get to work from my home ... Here I am people, living a life where all those hopes have come true. Yet, I struggle with gratitude and fear!?
Fear is very selfish; it is deciding to cower, instead of boldly choosing to overcome. You are scared. You then allow whatever you're afraid of to have more control over your life than your own self.
Gratitude is very humbling; it recognizes the gifts given and revels in the fact that you are the recipient. You are special. You then allow whatever you've been given to have more of an impact on your life than your own fear.