• Abigail Ann

The Deeper Reason: Why I Paint

Updated: Oct 4

Everyone has a way they escape from life, some good, some not so good. Painting is that escape for me. It pulls me away from everything else and connects me with my heavenly Father. When I paint, it feels like I've been taken to an entirely different space. Time stops for a moment and it feels like I'm floating above the clouds, getting counsel with angels. I get my best ideas when I'm creating. To hear God speak to us, we have to be quiet and still. Sometimes I play music while I paint and other days I open a window and turn all my technology off. In a world where we are so accessible, it's freeing to make yourself un-accessible on purpose. :)

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It all started in English class my freshman year of high school. My dad had passed away a week before I started high school. I never told a soul during my freshman year. Of course, the kids that lived on my street knew, but I never told anyone in school until the end of the year.

My English teacher assigned a book for each of us to read. Instead of giving us homework, she played the audio book aloud during class. If we had time that day, we would take a quiz on what we'd listened to. She would get really frustrated at me for drawing the entire time we listened to the audio book.

She assumed I wasn't paying attention. Once it was time to take the quiz, I had taken zero notes and never studied the book at home. I received 100% on every quiz, regardless of studying. This wasn't normal for me though. In most of my classes I studied very diligently and only received grades that were barely passing, but this was different.

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What made this situation different, was that the person reading the audio book sounded just like my dad. Listening to the audio book was weirdly therapeutic. This situation made me realize how pleasantly lost in the moment I can get. Ever since this happened, I've found myself sketching or drawing during times of stress. It's been my healthy escape through traumatic situations.

Needless to say, life will happen, there will be times we ask, "Why is this happening to me?! This shouldn't be happening to me. I don't deserve this." I'll be the first to say, I've thought all of those things. Life is messy sometimes and there's nothing we can do to control it, but we can control how we react to it. If we choose to, there's always time to pause and take a breather. Painting is that breather for me, it's my escape from reality. When I'm finished drawing or painting, it's a physical reminder that good can come from bad things.

Let this be a reminder, to take a moment to breathe and just pause. You may be thinking, "Well, I don't have time to take up painting! I don't know what my escape is... I don't have time to do that. That's great you found your escape, but I just don't have time to do that."

Listen, you don't have time not to. If you constantly go through life in a state of panic, you'll be stuck in fight or flight mode forever. Stop fighting, stop flying, or running away from it. Pause for a moment and think of 3 things that are currently going right. Take time to be still. Take time to read the Bible in the morning before everyone else wakes up.

We all have 24 hours in our day and we're never going to get more time. When you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. Start saying yes to yourself, start journaling the bad thoughts and leave them in the journal. (Sometimes, if I'm really upset at someone, I'll grab a sheet of paper and write down everything I want to say to them–all of it, the good, the bad, and the very nasty. Then I take that sheet of paper, put it in a shredder, and let it go.)

Whether it's on a piece of paper, your computer, or a journal, get those thoughts out and let them be. Physically throwing it away can be so freeing. When you get those negative thoughts out, let them fly away like a big group of birds. Visualize them floating away. Peace is your power. Remember that.

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