PERFECTION VS. GRACE

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IT’S JUST A PIECE OF PAPER

This last week I spent an inspiring afternoon with my sister Anita. She shares a love for painting and has the ability to create on canvas/paper as I do.  While together, we went through her portfolio of bright and cheerful art renderings.  I found myself getting jealous, because she has a way of creating art that makes it an enjoyable experience for her and her audience.  

We talked about the bi-weekly classes that she teaches.  She told me that it’s important for her to try to relieve her students stress about messing up, by letting them know that, “...it’s just a piece of paper, if you make a mistake you can throw it away or turn it over and start all over again.”  

I realized that I have never been that carefree and easy about any piece of art work that I’ve ever produced.  The importance on “perfection” in my mind, has made my efforts to create, hard and even daunting at times.  It’s always seemed like an ominous task for me to take on.  

Where I feel I have the Lord’s hand guiding mine, and joy does come in the end, I feel pressure and anxiety in the process, and that there is no room for making mistakes.

I have been inspired by my sister’s work and feel there is a lesson here for me, and maybe some of you, to grab on to.

PERFECTION VS. GRACE

I feel that we are all holding ourselves to a standard of perfection that is not necessary to feel fulfillment, or to feel joy and happiness. A standard that we have set for ourselves....for, it was not set in Heaven or anywhere else.


Perfection - Perfection is a state, variously, of completeness, flawlessness, or supreme excellence.  (Wikipedia)

Grace - The enabling power or divine help from God that allows us to obtain blessings in this life. (See Guide to the Scriptures)

When we simplify the demands we place on ourselves and allow God to be more fully integrated into our efforts, what we do will become easier, less stressful, more enjoyable, and a perfect work of art in the end.

This message now is inscribed on my mirror, “May Grace, the enabling power of God, abide in me forever.”

IT IS OK TO GO OUT OF THE LINES

In my most recent Blogs, I have been talking about LIFE.....that we were sent here to this earth to learn, grow and experience joy.....but, somewhere along the way some of us have acquired the idea that while we are learning and growing, we can’t make mistakes!  We don’t appreciate that a big part of Gods’ Plan of Salvation, or Happiness, is that mistakes and opposition are necessary for our learning and growth.  We don’t realize  that it is OK to go out of the lines, to dribble paint or lay down an ugly color, even drop the brush so that paint splashes everywhere! It’s all OK and is necessary for our earthly experience.

We are to become ‘perfect’ but not through ‘perfectionism’!

My need for perfectionism in my paintings takes the joy out of painting.  Just as we think we can’t make mistakes or go out of the lines, takes the joy out of life by creating anxiety, stress and many other complications.

Seems like we ask the Lord to help us, to be with us, to guide or inspire us, but then we don’t allow that to happen because we don’t give Him time or space to do what He needs to do.

“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”

I had an experience, a couple weeks ago that opened my eyes to perfection and how we don’t allow Heavenly Father to help us the way He knows to help us best.  I was asked by a neighbor to help her with a situation that was creating a lot of stress and anxiety for her. I was happy to help and went over to her home to see what I could do.  

She explained the situation and told me what she needed.  Feeling confident in what I was asked to do, I stepped forward with tool in hand to help her.  She straightaway took the tool out of my hand, saying it needed to be done a certain way.  I proceeded to do it that way when she again, took the tool and tried to do it herself but couldn’t get the right angle.  Frustrated, I tried again when she promptly took over and left me standing there wondering why she had called me in the first place if she was just going to do it herself.

It was a couple days later when I was thinking back on the situation, wondering how I could have been more helpful, when I realized the irony of the circumstance. When I paint or I’m trying to do something I feel is important,  I ask my Father in Heaven to help me, then immediately I take control.....exerting my own effort, to make it perfect. Fears and doubts then take over and leave me feeling very stressed and anxious.

Like my neighbor, I cause more stress and anxiety, because I’m not allowing the One that can help to even come close to give the help or the blessings that I was seeking in the first place!

If we believe that our Heavenly Father is truly there to bless our lives, then we need to stand back and.... “Be still and know that I am God....”. Psalms 46:10  

It’s sad but we make life much harder than it needs to be!  We create fear and anxieties when we don’t allow Him in our lives to help us....with everything!

FAITH

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” D&C 6:36

Faith is when we love the Lord with all our hearts and trust in Him to help us all along the way...even if the path is different than we thought it would be or should be.  Faith in the Lord brings the miracles we desire in our lives.  Believe that He can give us an enabling power or divine help so we can obtain the blessings we need.

I have been taught a very important concept that can bless me in how I can live my life so it can be stress free...I can go out of the lines, be more open and carefree in my efforts and then painting can be a more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Praying that all of us can simplify the demands we place on ourselves and allow God to be more fully integrated into our efforts. Have faith, in our Father who loves us, that what we do through Him, will become a perfect work of art in the end.

Hoping we will hold this message in our hearts so we can be comforted, blessed and perfected through Him......“May Grace, the enabling power of God, abide in me forever.”


COMMENTS:

Is there anyone out there that can relate to being a perfectionist vs. using the Grace that we are given to bless our lives?  
 
Any thoughts or encouragements as to how one gives up their control of the universe?

ARTWORK:
 
Titled - Just BE U TIFUL

This piece of artwork was painted after we made a trip to the canyon after a good rainstorm. Water was running across the road and hundreds of butterflies were hanging out as if on the beach enjoying the waterfront. It was beautiful! I hadn’t seen so many butterflies in one spot before.....I thought it looked like a ‘perfect’ painting.

Notice the small butterfly that is different or seems out of place. He may seem small and not as vibrant as those around him but that small and simple butterfly holds it’s own beauty......he is beautiful and magnificent just being who he is!