I have been in a creating frenzy.
I feel like I can’t create fast enough. I’m frustrated that my hands can’t work faster, that my wrist and neck get stiff after a couple of hours, that my eyes can’t focus for longer than I’d like, that my mental capacity screams out it needs a break. I can’t create enough, period.
I have so many ideas, overwhelmingly so.
I’m so excited about all of them and anxious to get to them all. I can’t think about anything else except for when I will have the apartment to myself so that I can sit at my desk in my favorite chair, put on the new Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop album, and draw and paint for hours on end.
When I finally do get the chance to sit down and create, I forget about everything around me.
I forget to eat and my hands start shaking.
I don’t let myself go to the bathroom, sitting in the chair with my legs crossed until it hurts so much I have to get up.
I hold onto my brush so tightly, needing to keep it as steady as possible for all the little details, the joints in my fingers start tingling, aching; I wish they’d just go numb so I can maintain my grip to keep painting.
At the end of a great painting session, I am exhausted and refreshed at the same time. I can’t wait until I can sit down to do it again.
But then I start doubting myself.
Will I be able to do this again?
Will I have the same motivation and fervor next time?
What if it’s never this good, ever?
What will I do if my talent goes away?
It’s no longer my ideas that overwhelm me, but my fears - I’m not good enough and will never be good enough. Fear sets in and perfectionism takes over.
Perfectionism consumes me with doubt. I doubt my ability, I doubt my talent. I doubt God.
Perfectionism stops me from sharing my work.
Perfectionism prevents me from creating altogether.
Perfectionism is my worst enemy. And the standard of perfection is one I created for myself - I am my own worst enemy.
The only standard of perfection is Christ, but I make up a standard to chase after, to strive towards, to live up to. But I can never be perfect much less even live up to my standards - I set myself up for failure.
At our monthly Staff Retreat Coaching meeting with Rocky*, my husband and I were asked to write down a list of things that we want the other to know, what we love, value, and appreciate about each other. One of the things he wrote really struck me. He said,
“She is truly loved by God through the gift of her artistic abilities.”
And it hit me hard like a train coming at me full speed.
The talents and abilities He gifted me with are just one of the ways God loves me. I had been missing the point of why God had created me. He created me to create. To be a part of creation-making with Him, in His kingdom.
And here I was doubting myself, letting it stop me from doing what I was made to do, feeling sad because I wished I was a better artist (whatever that even means). I was procrastinating on creating personal work because I was afraid it’d be less than perfect. I was wishing that I was more talented, more creative. In the end, I was accusing God of giving me a talent and a creativity that wasn’t good enough. That His gifts to me weren’t good enough for me. That He wasn’t good enough for me.
To not do anything slovenly doesn’t mean that an artist does everything perfectly. It is impossible to be perfect and I must accept that if I am to continue sharing my work and putting myself out there, if I am to survive and thrive as an artist.
The only artist that can do anything perfectly is our Creator, God the Father. I must accept that. And accept that I am never going to be perfect.
I am also slowly learning to fully accept that God is perfect and that He is enough for me.
His perfection is absolute perfection. And that should be enough for me.
Maybe it will never be enough for me as long as I am an imperfect human being living in an imperfect world. But one day, it will be enough for me and I so look forward to it.