"Be who we are and be that well." St. Frances De Sales
Hi there, my friend!
On the screen where I'm typing this, there's a tab that reads, "CONTENT", prompting me to enter my thoughts in this particular spot - to create "content." I smile every time I see it, remembering its homonym refers to "a state of being satisfied".
Shakespeare said it well
Getting to a place where we are content with who we truly are can be quite a journey. Shakespeare said it well,"...Ah, there lies the rub". I'm in my sixth decade of walking on this planet. Although I'm not so crazy about how the years bring a few random aches, I have grown to love the way the years have forged contentment with who I am. Younger years found me chasing the mirage of conformity. Like a dog chasing his tail, that pursuit is always a lost cause.
The wisdom of Dr. Seuss
“ You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?”– Dr. Seuss
No more pinching!
It feels so much better to lean into the confidence of who we were created to be. It's like slipping on that favorite pair of jeans that fits you "just right". Ahhh! No pinching. No squishing. One of my favorite thoughts about this acquired comfort is from St. Francis de Sales.
“Be who you are and be that well. So that you may bring honor to the Master Craftsman whose handiwork you are.”
The domino effect
The beautiful thing about finding the grace for contentment in who we are is that we can more easily radiate that same grace to others. When we're trying to stuff ourselves into some strident ideal of perfection, we're more likely to hold others to demanding standards as well.
Let's do this instead
Let's aim to accept ourselves - with all of our strange warts and all. And let's extend the same acceptance to our fellow strangely-warted-travelers we meet along our journey.
"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has- or ever will have- something inside that is unique to all time." Mr. Rodgers
You are rare and valuable!
Now Available for Order
Today, in my journal, I was thinking about that over-used and under-employed word, L-O-V-E. It's so often rinsed out and used-up of its real potency. Nevertheless, in its truest description, its potency is undeniable. When we remember to harness its energy, our impatience melts. Our fears subside. Our angst dissipates.
Love is really not something we give or get. But rather, it's something we nurture and grow. It's a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them. We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Posters and Products is a new collection I've begun which offers wall posters paired with inspirational text. There's also tote bags, pillows and t-shirts available in many of the designs.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! It's a day that conjures up images of pink and red hearts, chocolate decadence and romanticized perfection. We have lots of happy associations with it, such as the construction paper hearts that were tucked in our school desks or the packets of miniature confections stamped with messages such as “Be Mine”. But Valentine’s Day also elicits unpleasant associations.
The day can be met with some unpleasant associations - both in men and women. Guys usually dread it. It makes them feel awkwardly obliged to fulfill Hallmark’s fantastical imagery. For women, it evokes expectations that, if looked at objectively, are unfair and unrealistic. Truthfully told, Valentine’s Day invites feelings of dissatisfaction, resentment, and isolation.
But the holiday holds so much potential if we strip away the commercialized hype and look at what l-o-v-e really spells out for us. It could offer a lot more positive possibilities - for everyone.
When we examine the fullness of the word “love”, we see that it stretches far beyond the limitations of Rom-Com movies and Hallmark greeting cards. It implies weightier ingredients that encompass every human relationship - regardless of their “relationship status”.
One ancient Biblical text helps magnify its broader application:
"Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up..."
( Excerpt from I Corinthians 13 TPT)
I wish we could reinvent Valentine’s Day! Can’t you just imagine how much better it could be if we took a day to celebrate a fuller definition of what love is? Because, in the words of the poet, Rumi,
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.”
How different would your Valentine's Day look if we magnified the meaning of "love"?
Spreading love in our homes is expressed through all the choices we make.
Preparing yummy food, welcoming warm conversations and making thoughtful interior design choices.
Studies show that we are emotionally affected by the visuals that surround us. What we take in visually makes a big impact on our moods and thoughts. While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about room color, it is something that quietly affects us every day.
Certain color-groups tend to evoke particular responses. For example, warms colors (red, orange, yellow, brown etc.) usually stirs feelings of security and safety. In particular, red raises a room’s energy level. By far, it's the most intense color; it activates our adrenaline like no other hue. It is a really great choice when you want to stir up some extra excitement! When red is used in interior design inspiration, it draws people together and invites conversation.
I've always been a fan of red. And this red couch has me really pumped. When paired with the wall art print, "Spreading the Love" , it just sizzles, doesn't it?
Have you used red in any of your decorating projects? If so, how did you see it have an affect?