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20 June 2011

Sisters in the Sand, Figurative painting by Texas Artist Laurie Pace

Sisters in the Sand
Commission Gift
20 x 20 inches  Oil on Canvas  
 ©Laurie Pace Graphics One Design 1998-2011
This was painted from a photograph on a beach a long time ago.  I was suppose to do the painting last year but could not find where I have packed the photograph but I came across the sketches I had completed for the painting... so I was able to paint the picture. Two young sisters on the beach, the older one trying to pick up the younger one who is basically leery of the incoming water from the ocean.  The little one looks like she has on someone's t-shirt over her diaper or swimming suit.


Seems like an easy thing, a good word, but oh so hard to deal with.  We often allow anger to cause bitterness in our lives. It is so easy to blame someone else for situations when at times we are at fault.  It is not that we need to forgive someone else, but that we need to ask for forgiveness from someone else.  In our mind's eye, we are always the hurt party, but perhaps it is us doing the hurting.

Over my years of life I had some pretty good role models in my spiritual growth. As strong as their words and lessons were, I still struggle with the sense of asking for forgiveness from others when in my own heart I feel they should be coming to me to ask my forgiveness.  

This morning I was sound asleep in bed and suddenly was wide awake. Terry had been flip flopping and in his dream very busy... he kicked me. First time in 20 years.  I can get past the kicking, that is not even a thought that lingers...but then I was wide awake at 4:30 am.  I should say the squirrels were wide awake and they were chattering away in my head discussing things that definitely were making sure I was wide awake.   I began to toss and turn and try to refocus to drown out their conversations. I prayed. I counted backwards from 200.  I counted blessings... and finally at 5:30 I got up.  Sometimes that is the only way to hush those squirrels.  

We all face situations in life where forgiveness must be a two way street.  Humans are very thin skinned as well as thick headed. There is a book I would like to order and read called "The Bounce Back Book".  Karen Salmansohn writes about relationships and how important it is to start forgiving and forgetting.  Like those rocks I wrote about picking up through my lifetime and stuffing them into my pockets...same with relationship issues.  When you allow issues to fuel anger and bitterness you live a very unhappy life. When you carry them around in your pockets it becomes impossible to smile and enjoy the day God has given you.

Here are some thoughts between Karen's suggestions and my comments.
1. Say a Prayer   
 If you believe we are all of God and of His love, you must believe that every person can find their way back to a happier place. She suggests when you feel harmed by someone's anger or actions, pray for them to find their way back to peace and joy.

2. Focus on Gratitude.  I like Karen's thoughts on this one.  She points out happiness must come from the inside. We cannot find it in the materialistic world. "If you allow your self-image to be at the mercy of unpredictable events and unreliable people, your happiness will be forever on a chaotic roller coaster ride."   She urges you to count blessings, which is something I do all the time... it is the best "Pick me up" I know to be reminded of what God has richly blessed me with in my life.

3. Look for the lesson.  I see this several ways but can accept Karen's thoughts as well. She refers to the Buddhists that if you are truly suffering it is a sign you are an old soul. The bigger your problems, the closer you are to enlightenment.  Testing like this for me is God strengthening me  and his nudging me to learn more coping techniques. This could include compassion, empathy, forgiveness, patience, etc.  We all need to continue growing and learning in life, or we are basically dead before our soul leaves the body.

4. Maintain Perspective.   I know that well as an artist. We ALL get trapped in boxes and we loose our perspective.  The box seems safer but it does not give you a clear perspective of what truly is WHOLE LIFE.  Challenging times are just that, limited events in your life. Do not allow them to overwhelm you or get those squirrels running so early in the morning.

5. Learn the lesson.  I love how Karen phrases this one, "Develop a 'student not victim' mentality." Isn't that the truth?  Live the experience. Learn from what happens and go forward in your life.

6. Let Go of Resentment   Karen quotes Carrie Fisher, "Resentment is the poison you swallow hoping the other person will die."  I know from experience if you dwell on situations you are giving POWER to the other person. You am allowing them to control you and your bad mood. You cannot be happy and fulfilled if you are grumbly and testy and finding fault with everyone.

7. Stay Centered.  I write often about centering in God. Spiritually connected to Him is where I find my peace. There is no room for hatred, anger or bitterness if you are bathed in His light.

8. Get Revenge Positively   This made me think of my grandmother that said, 'just kill them with kindness'.  Revenge does nothing. The more you dwell on the what ifs and your constant rerunning things in your head, the angrier you become. The situation or person controls you. You must create a new habit and stay focused on positive thoughts of being loving in your your words and your actions with others. When you live this way you attract more positive things into your life. 

Karen suggested the mantra, "Love, Forgiveness, Letting Go and Peace."  For me I have to have something with a bit more to it... maybe "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do."  

GOD is mighty and He will guide you to set your heart free of the weight you carry.  Looks like a good read: Karen's book.

Happy Monday to all of you. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Live it to its fullest. SMILE and share that light with others. 


"Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these." --John 14:12


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Laurie Justus Pace Contemporary Texas Artist


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