Monday, January 17, 2011

Shame and the Art of Finishing

OK, this is the first fruit of the blog, and wouldn't it be fitting that it would come from me!

I've had the featured fabric, "Tufted Tweets" by Laurie Wisbrun, since last June.  After writing a couple of posts about how much I loved these fabrics and was going to design a quilt with them, I did nothing.   It took Staci's perusal of  my blog and her discovery that there was no "Tufted Tweets" quilt that shamed me into fessing up and actually producing one.

What I discovered about this is that shame is a powerful thing.  It's unpopular now to feel shame, or be ashamed, or shame others.  However, it's always been a powerful tool because it hits you right in that very important part of yourself, your self esteem.  When you accept shame, you accept something in yourself that you're not happy about. 

Is this a bad thing?  I don't think so.  I don't know anyone who couldn't use a second look at why they feel a certain way about themselves.  Those of us who struggle with it need to look at it closely and without fear.  Yeah, I've made mistakes, and frankly, I haven't learned from all of them.  However, that doesn't mean I have no value, it just means that I'm a work in progess, just like everyone else!

Frankly, I think that people with too much self esteem are dishonest.  No one is that great, and being "great" is kind of like being cool.  You can't be "great" if you think you are, just like if you have to work at being "cool" you are by definition "uncool."

Have you ever been around someone who just "is"?  They don't have anything to prove, they don't worry about what others think of them, they are just themselves and are happy with that.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to feel that self confident?  To be happy to be me and to face whatever comes my way with the confidence that "I can handle it."

That was another of the coping mechanisms in the book "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" I wrote about in my last post.  It has to do with knowing that whatever happens you'll find a way to handle it.  So many times our worries aren't what we should be concerned about.  I know in my own case that what gets me are the surprises.  I might be able to prepare for my worries, but the surprises are another thing all together.  It's finding the confidence that you can handle the worries and the surprises that take a lot of the fear out of your life.  If you feel you can "handle" what comes your way, then you have less reason to be afraid.

I hope all of you are muscling through your fears and working towards your goals.  As long as you keep moving forward, you'll get there.  That doesn't mean you can't stop and smell the roses, it means that you keep moving forward with the scent of roses in the air.

Feel the fear, and get with it!



Staci said...

Your Tweets quilt is just wonderful! I've enjoyed the photos on both your blogs. I love how you fussy cut the individual chairs and sofas and framed each one. Makes each element IMPORTANT and special.
I hope someday to be as brave with my use of color as you are. I'm trying! The quilt I am just beginning to work on now has more color and pattern than I've ever used before. I've had moments where I thought out pulling some of the prints out and putting in something more tame, but I'm sticking to my guns and keeping them all!!

Susan Gannon O'Connell said...

Hi Staci,

Thanks for the compliments. It came together well, now I get to have fun with the embellishments which is really my "thing."

Enjoy working with the colors you really love. It takes so long to make a quilt I don't see the point in making it with fabrics that don't make you happy each time you see them. I'm looking forward to doing the handwork on mine, all that color will keep me awake!