Wait for the Artist

By Kayla Zilch

I was daydreaming in church yesterday, and I finally put my finger on it. This empty, resonate feeling I’ve been carrying around in my chest since the sudden, necessary departure of the man I’ve been dating.

The feeling of being seen by many, but not really known. Breakups throw you into a spotlight of sorts, if only for a brief moment - your pain the momentary object of your circle’s curiosity, and your brokenness is center-stage, stumbling and shameful, without anything to cover itself with.

The feeling of desiring to be fought for, chosen, sacrificed for – but looking around and finding the object of your passionate adoration gone, moved on.

Have you ever been to an art gallery, and noticed the two types of people occupying the space? You've got the casual tourists, drifting from painting to painting, snapping iPhone photos and never more than twenty feet beyond their pack of friends. They're there to pass time, to have an experience.

Then, there are the artists.

These people aren’t in a hurry. They pause at one painting for several minutes, and either stand too close or too far back, trying to see the painting in its larger context before leaning in and counting the brushstrokes.

Artists don't simply come to admire - they recognise the painting as a manifestation of the same creativity woven into the tapestry of their own souls.

They can understand art intimately, because they, too, are art.

But most people you'll want approval from, or fall in love with, are tourists.

You'll exist to show them something, maybe get a few photos, and then remain long after they've gone home and Insta'd the best one.

Wait for the artist.

Better yet, wait for that one art romantic willing to trade tens of thousands of dollars to take you and make you a permanent part of their life, the person eager to look at you every day, who believes your presence won't diminish with repeated viewing.

The preacher said one thing that pinned me: "Don't adopt an external form because you don't know who you were created to be." Admiration is the emotion furthest from understanding.

If you're not accepted wholly now, one day, you will be.

There's nothing wrong with you. Your strength creates space. Your form is lovely. You're more than something to be admired. You deserve to be known and chosen, over and over again.

Wait for the artist.

Kayla Zilch

Kayla Zilch

Love’s Identity

Brittney Stevens // @pineapplefroyo

We have a lot of are’s attached to us. Think about it.

We are humans. We are students. We are siblings. We are parents. We are workers....and I’m certain we can both add more to the list.

One thing, though, that supersedes any title we can give ourselves is loved.

As in: We are loved.

If you think about it - or Google it, like I did - you may realize that the word “are” is a conjugation of our English verb “be” or the infinitive “to be.”

The definition of the word “be” is as follows:  to have identity with [something].

So the sentence “You are loved” means that you have identity in/with love.

Or in other words, Love is a part of your identity.

You know what that means, right?

Along with your name, your personality, your status, and anything else you identify yourself with, Loved is one of them.

Yes, this applies to you, sweet friend.

You are loved.

A label, a title, a birthright that outlasts any thing and any situation that can be thrown at you.  

You are proof that extraordinary things still walk the Earth, because love - the most powerful force in the world - abides within you.

That’s something you live with everyday.

That dwells in the core of your being.

Something that no thing can ever, ever

take away from you.

Brittney Stevens

Brittney Stevens

You are So Much More than Enough

By Ashlyn Harrelson

When did we (including myself) allow someone else to determine our worth?  Why do we allow one person or a group of people to decide that what we have to offer is valuable?  What causes us to base our worthiness on the acceptance of anyone other than ourselves?

It is time that we all start believing in ourselves and our abilities.  We all have something special to offer and just because one person or one group does not see it does not mean that no one else does or will. Self-love, just like finding your life purpose, just like meditation, just like a healthy lifestyle, just like mindfulness, takes practice.

This past week when my alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. I immediately said to myself “today is going to be good” over and over again before I even turn the alarm on my phone off.  Before my feet hit the floor I have set the tone for my day.  Maybe this is overly simple but it’s where I am right now.  It’s been working too.  Everyday last week was a good day.  Sure there were stressful moments or things that did not go how I wanted but those were just moments in my day. My mindset was to have a good day and I refused to let anything change that.

Since my breakup, and even before it, I questioned myself a lot.  Was I pretty enough?  Was I intelligent enough?  Could I keep his attention?  How can I make him show me more love?  What do I need to do to get him to commit to me?

You were enough maybe you were too much maybe he prefers less and you deserve more.

And this is absolutely where the title of this blog comes into play.  Because I am more than enough.  I am more than enough for myself and I am more than enough for the right man.  I should never feel that I am not enough for someone.  I should know that I am a full person who is beyond worthy.

For about a month now I have repeated a few sentences to myself:  I am beautiful.  I am strong.  I am interesting.  I am loving.  I am deserving.  I am worthy.  I have a lot to offer.  I am enough.

No, this is not easy.  No, I do not always feel so certain about what I am telling myself. Especially when the one person who should have appreciated these parts of me did not see me as any of these things or as worthy.

It takes practice and I have promised to practice everyday because deep inside I know I am these and so much more.  My hope is that anyone who has ever felt unworthy or like they are not enough of anything will know that they were simply unappreciated.  And maybe it is going to take a lot of self-love and learning to appreciate yourself before anyone else recognizes it but the relationship you have with yourself is the most important.  How can you truly love another if you do not love yourself?  So work on yourself and the right people will come into your life when you are ready.

When you are broken and he has left you do not question whether you were enough the problem was you were so enough he was not able to carry it.

Ashlyn Harrelson

Ashlyn Harrelson