She was a child who loved to create!
Colours in her paintings, unusual shapes in her designs
and making squiggles on paper that became flowers and patterns
and who-knows-what in her young imaginative mind delighted her heart and mind and soul.

But the day came when her teacher didn’t “see” what the child saw
and said “Why can’t you colour within the lines?”
“Why can’t you do the assignment as I gave it to you?”

The little child interpreted those comments that she was a failure
… and carried that feeling with her throughout her adult life
with her response to life being an “I can’t.”
She hardly ever uttered an “I’ll try.”
And if she did try, it was always stated as
“I’ll try, but …”

One day, in a private conversation,
she began to explain that she was not creative
– could not draw or paint
– had no artistic ability.
“I’m such a failure!” she said,
staring before the blank sheet of paper,
unable to put any mark on the sheet in the Soulistry workshop session.

The dictionary describes failure as “a person, act or instance of proving unsuccessful.”
In the eyes of the little girl who took the original pattern and played with the paints and crayons,
as a child,
there was success in the colour and magnificence
of her creatively extended pattern’s boundaries.
To the child’s teacher
there was not.

When the workshop participant remembered her childhood teacher’s comments,
her spirit was stifled.
For decades, she saw herself as a failure
in many areas of her life,
but when she realized that a comment made
so long ago
had crippled her self-image that in her adulthood,
she made a conscious decision to no longer give her power away to that memory.

She walked back into the workshop session and before she knew it
was creating incredible pieces of marbled paper
which she turned into envelopes, greeting cards and wrapping paper.

“I didn’t know I could do anything like that” she said with a smile as she left that day.
“But I can and I will!”
© june maffin

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