Recently I went to the store to buy a large pad of paper. My collage teacher had told me that I needed larger paper to allow for ample white space for my ongoing collage work. She says the white space will give my collages the value, and respect, they deserve.
So, thinking I knew exactly what I needed, I eagerly went off to my favorite art store. Once there, however, I realized I hadn’t checked the dimensions of the paper I had been using. I couldn’t seem to find a pad which looked like the next size larger. So, I purchased a pad which was obviously larger, even though it seemed too big.
Once home, I immediately realized the paper was far too big. Knowing I needed the dimensions of the original pad, I peeked inside the bag where I store my collage materials. And, there, in plain sight, were the dimensions printed on the lower corner of pad’s cover.
If only I had taken one extra second to check in ….
So, feeling eager, dimensions in hand, I set out the next day to purchase the ‘right’ pad of paper. This time I found a pad which seemed to be the proper size. Strangely, though, something didn’t seem quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, I purchased the pad, and went home, excited to finally have what I needed. Or so I thought…
You guessed it. Once home, to my great chagrin, and embarrassment, I realized I had AGAIN purchased the wrong paper.
This time, though, as I pulled the original pad from its storage bag, I realized my mistake. Instead of 140-pound paper (which I had purchased the first time around) I had twice purchased paper that was only 98 pounds. I purchased Mixed Media paper instead of Watercolor. The wrong value, wrong quality, for the work I was creating.
Feeling so disappointed in myself, I knew I needed to shift out of my foul mood. I also knew that my inner critic was running wild and needed some loving attention.
So I meditated. And during my meditation, I hugged my inner critic with love and compassion.
I saw that in my eagerness, my playful glee, I had gone to the store without taking time to see what I truly needed. In other words, I had forgotten to check in. A common error, and one I could forgive.
What I saw next was even more important. In forgiving myself, I saw what I had truly missed. I had missed the original value, or weight, of the paper.
So, I went for the bigger, cheaper versions, neither of which worked.
And, isn’t that what we’re always doing? Forgetting our value, and looking outside of ourselves for bigger, cheaper versions of ourselves? Versions that will never align with who we truly are?
The facades we wear. The secrets we keep to avoid exposure. The criticisms we take to heart. After a while, we forget who we are. We forget how valuable we are. And the more we forget, the farther away we go.
Two pads of paper. Both wrong, because I failed to check in to see what was right for me. Wrong because I hadn’t appreciated the value of the original pad.
The white space surrounding my collage helps me see it’s true value. Stepping out of our busy minds, checking in with ourselves, helps us create the space to see our own.
If you need to get in touch with your true value, contact me. I can help.