The Lies We Believe about Ourselves

watercolor seahorse

I come from a family of creatives. My dad, an orthopedic surgeon, is also a gifted carpenter, having made countless pieces of furniture. My mom has creativity just oozing from her. She can paint, sew, quilt, and decorate like nobody. And then, my older sister, Jennifer, inherited all the creativity in our gene pool, leaving me with little to no artistic ability.

Or at least that’s what I believed for years.

I watched her flourish as she drew, painted, sculpted and created. She won awards and the praise of many. And I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “There’s no way I can compete with that! I’ll focus on sports.”

And so I did. I played tennis is high school and found a measure of success and a lot of satisfaction in the competition.

By the time I was a young wife and mom, I decided to take cake decorating classes and surprisingly found that, while I couldn’t draw well with a pencil, I could with icing. I can’t tell you how shocking this was. My cakes were beautiful and I even ran a small business for several years. Regardless, I continued to believe that I wasn’t artistic…or at least that my ability ended with sugar and butter.

And then a couple of years ago, I felt a shift occurring. 

My sister’s 70-something mother-in-law posted on Facebook a watercolor painting that she had painted from her first ever watercolor class. 

I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was, and I was equally impressed that at her age she was trying something new. 

Inspired by her, I signed up for my first watercolor class, wondering if there was perhaps a latent sliver of artistic ability in me. I had absolutely zero experience, but I was loaded with a love of watercolor and a desire to create. 

My first painting, however, was pathetic. No, really. It was awful, but I was determined to learn, determined to grow. 

I was completely impressed by my next painting…and equally disappointed when my teacher was not. 

So, she continued to teach, I continued to practice, and I have been amazed at my growing ability. At times, some of my paintings still lack beauty…except for the beauty of a middle-aged woman who is refusing to believe a long-held lie that she’s not artistic.

As one of my creative friends loves to say, “As the children of the Creator, of course we are all creative!”

What have you believed about yourself that might need to be challenged?  

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