As an artist, you are taught to use contrasting colors to define your positive and negative space within a work. Normally, you want to highlight the focus of the piece and shade the non-focal areas. You want to draw attention to the positive. I realize artwork is not always positive in the way of subject matter. That is not exactly what I am talking about. I am talking about the area to which your eye is drawn. In the picture to the left, there are two images, one in negative space in one in the positive. Do you naturally see one before the other? Usually it is the positive space. But the same is not true when I think of myself.
My husband and I were having a conversation while sitting on the couch yesterday morning. I mentioned some things I was struggling with emotionally. It seems I have had many struggles lately. Nothing overwhelming, just many small things that make my mind whirl. Specifically, I was talking about a hearing test I had recently that revealed I have low-frequency hearing loss. I guess my husband had had enough of my whining because he said, “Holly, I want you to think about something. You are letting all these negative things define you–whether it is your bipolar disorder or hearing loss or whatever else is wrong. I want you to think of the good things about yourself and let them define you.”
I was suddenly fighting back tears. The sad truth: I couldn’t think of anything positive about myself that defined me. I feel like I fall short on everything. I feel like I am failing my children because I don’t spend enough constructive time with them. I feel like I fail as a housekeeper because there is usually enough dust on my ceiling fans to plant corn. I fail as an artist because I have no time to invest. The same goes for being a writer. Other than knowing I am God’s Child, Redeemed, I can think of nothing.
This is something I desperately need to work on. I don’t have a resolution or a happy how-to ending for this blog post. Rather, I want to ask you, “What positive things define you?”