I was in a serious conversation with someone who had experienced sexual assault and they were trying to learn how to cope with their new normal after that traumatic situation. We had some things in common, one of them being the love for writing; so I used that to share this with them, “Here’s what you can do: take a blank piece of paper and write out how you envision your life to be. Only you are the author of your fate. Only you can decide how your life will play out from this very moment on. You are in full control. How do you see yourself?”
Now, as I was talking, none of what I was saying had I ever said before nor had I ever thought about it like that! That conversation was so organic and I truly believe it was a lesson that God was saying to me as well. It was enlightening.
Fast forward to yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to a painting class that just so happened to serve wine (smile). When we arrived, there were beautiful paintings all over the walls. And then there were tables set up with blank canvases, a plate of different color paints, a set of brushes, and a small can filled with clean water. They had it set up nicely for the aspiring artists who signed up for the class. Everything we needed to complete the task was already set up for us. Y’all know where I’m going with this… but let’s continue to journey together.
My boyfriend and I found the blank canvases with our names on them, put on our aprons, ordered a glass (or four) of wine, and took a seat in front of that blank canvas. The final painting that we were going to do was hanging up on the wall in front of the class. We both looked at one another with confusion because how the heck were we, two people with zero artistic experience, going to get to something like that?? We were at least expecting to have an outline of the painting and all we had to do was fill in the color! NOT!!! They gave us a blank canvas. I took a snap of it for proof (smile):
As a writer, I use a lot of analogies about writing, creating, sculpting, developing, imagining anything. As a writer, I am a creator. I never really considered myself that until it was brought to my attention by a dear friend. He said to me, “Jai, you are a creative being!” That is when the light bulb came on for me. So when I speak to others, I use analogies that I can relate to, and try to present it in a way that makes sense for non-writers. That blank canvas idea stuck with me ever since I shared it with that person weeks ago.
And yesterday, there I was with a blank canvas sitting right in front of me. Now it was my turn to envision. It was my turn to decide what my life would look like, without the pain… without the unforgiveness… without the depression… without the disappointments… without the anger… without the brokenness… without the doubt… without the fear… without the vengeance… without the loneliness… without the heartache…
Sometimes life can hit us with a blow that takes our breath away! But when I am knocked down, I have to remember my blank canvas moment. And get to painting… What would my life look like if I was able to forgive myself and others? What would it look like to WANT to wake up in the morning? What would it look like if I was following my passion and dreams? What would it look like if I had no financial restraints and all of my bills (and debt) were paid? What would it look like if I had the perfectly healed relationship with my daughter? What would it look like if I was not battling anxiety and panic attacks? What would my life look like if I took control and said, “hurt, you will live here no more!”
Ahhhh, I was having my blank canvas moment. So with nervous and apprehension, I picked up the brush and followed the instructions of our lovely art instructor. She broke it down in bite sizable pieces that us newbies could digest. It took two hours!!! With each stroke, I could see the picture coming together. When I say it was magical… it really was. Because it gave me a sense of accomplishment. I was taking on a task I had never done before and I was doing the damn thing! And our instructor helped tremendously because she kept saying, “Art is so forgivable. If you mess up, no worries, just cover it up with more paint! And don’t look at your neighbors, because each painting will look different. Each one of you have a different stroke of the paint brush. So don’t worry, just paint.”
This blank canvas moment reminded me of my relationship with God. God is my instructor guiding me along my path of life. The masterpiece won’t come together quickly, it takes time. Just like the painting class took two hours, my emotional healing journey will take time. But if I continue to follow the instructions of my God, I will be healed. The masterpiece before God will look clean and polished and whole. But I have to stay the course. I have to stay on track. I have to keep the faith. I have to trust my instructor, that He knows how to get me where I need to be. And when it is all said and done:
Now it is your turn. Before you is a blank canvas. How do you envision your future? How do you envision your life? Is there any part of your past that left a stain? Are you ready to not be affected by that stain of your past? Then take control of the brush and paint your life how you envision it without the pain… without the stain… without the mistakes… without the dumb decisions… without the anger… without the unforgiveness… it is your turn. Leave a comment below and tell me about your blank canvas moment!
Love you to life,
Are you a book lover? Do you like books to encourage, inspire and entertain? Then check out Jai’s books on her author page at www.jaitheauthor.com!