In September of this year, I designed a set of four small botanical oil paintings which I intended to paint as a representation of my current state of mind at the time.
For the first time since I began painting back in 2001, I felt compelled to paint a darker side to life than what I would normally choose to create.
This painting called TRANSITION is one of four pieces in my “Sad Flowers” series.
Ironically, as I began to work on each of the four pieces, I became less and less sad with each passing day.
But what was even more unexpected to me, was that each of the four flowers in this series didn’t really appear to be sad at all. In fact, they appeared to be quite the opposite.
How similar to life. Things are not always as they appear.
This is a good reminder to stop assuming that what you see on the surface is all there is to a situation.
A reminder that just because somebody appears to be happy, doesn’t mean that they might not really be carrying around a heavy bag of burdens, hiding beneath their seemingly cheerful exterior.
As a card-carrying introvert, surface-level small talk quickly drains the life out of me faster than just about anything else can.
In contrast, finding out what is truly weighing on a person’s heart is something that I find energizing. Happy or sad. It doesn’t matter. I just want to know what is really going on. Even if it is depressing, at least it is real.
I am always surprised at how open most people are to answering what may seem like a nosy question.
And then another. And another. Until eventually, they have told me their “story.”
It has been my fortunate experience to learn that people want to be heard. All they usually need is just the slightest nudge. A nudge that can be as simple as asking a follow-up question to something they have already offered up to you.
This painting called “Transition” started out as a visual depiction of my heart, which was screaming “Leave. Me. Alone.”
But fortunately, as the weeks passed and I made a very deliberate effort to take better care of myself, the ice-layer covering my heart began to melt, and the sadness and anger drained away.
This healing of my soul, was thanks in great part to the people in my life who were OK with me “not being OK.”
People who let me cry. A lot. And often. And very loudly.
People who let me send them texts that simply said “I am in a fit of rage” — knowing they would pray for my troubled heart to calm down. They didn’t need to know the details. Just that I needed Divine Intervention at the moment.
People who I sent a photo of this very painting to, telling them it was called “I Hate Everyone!” And they laughed with me. Not AT me. People who are OK with things not always having to be OK, are people that can help to facilitate emotional healing.
Thanks in part to these special people in my life, I think I can honestly say that my heart is no longer sad nor angry anymore.
It is ready again to accept the challenge of sometimes peeking past the petals that are covering up what’s truly going on, inside the heart of the people who cross my path.
“Transition” is a painting that says “it’s OK, to not be OK.”
There is a certain beauty that only painful situations will ever extract. Transitions can be highly-effective beauty extractors. Assuming you don’t stay hidden away alone, for longer than necessary.
As we TRANSITION from one year into another today, my New Year’s Wish for YOU, is that you would take the time to look past how things seem to appear, to truly Listen in 2016. And to trust the people who love you, with The Real You.
— Marie Scott
PS If you need a new fresh look for your computer desktop this month, download this free calendar, featuring my painting called “Transition” for the month of January. To see my entire gallery of paintings, visit my website at www.mariescottstudios.com
Great stuff. The flowers and the thoughts. I love how you think and how you listen!
Thanks for being such a good example of listening! I can’t wait for you new book to come out.
I read the entire piece, because it expressed many of the thoughts I’ve had over my life, but didn’t know how to express. When I have expressed my need for compassion sometimes the person to whom I was sharing feelings or situations that caused pain did not wish to hear the details and told me so. I clam up now rather than risking being offended. There are people who genuinely care and seek to comfort others for whom I keep an eye out. I also keep an ear tuned to the needs of those needing to share their experience, because the Lord loves all and He is my example.
Thank you, Patrice. I appreciate your thoughts. I hope you can continue to find some good listeners as you continue to listen well to others. Just today a stranger outside the library told me that his dog died in his arms on Wednesday as they were leaving the vet together. It was an honor to hear his story. I hope that he felt better having been able to tell somebody about it. Thanks for being a fellow-listener! 🙂
Dear Jennifer Marie Scott,
What a tremendous communicator you are! I too love to hear the stories of dear ones, which, of course, includes every soul in our Father’s eyes. I very, very much appreciate that you took the time and made the effort to share your heart. Welcoming the new year with you,
Rita Hoffman (from Meadowbrook)
Thanks for your sweet words, Ms. Hoffman. (No matter how old I get, I will always think of you as the super cool cheerleading coach named “Ms. Hoffman.” Even though I didn’t really know you at the time since I wasn’t a cheerleader, your name and face are knitted within the fabric of so many good high school memories.) I’m so glad you are friends with my parents… they are my good-listener role-models!
Wow! I needed to hear that.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post, LibrarianLou! I’m glad it struck a chord with you.