I’ve been reading a lot on Neuroplasticity. Basically it’s how our nervous system responds and reacts to everything and how one is able to change those natural responses. I am on a journey to expand my neuropathways. With research, prayer and incorporating more of what I learn from the Bible, I can feel there being an internal change in the way my mind is understanding the things in life that put me in distress. With this, I hope to gain a core of calm. Now, without going on another tangent on all the different ways I am experimenting and trying to work through this and why, I’ll just share one of the things: My collage!
Literal Picture description: (Left to right, top to bottom) Forrest and trees. Old visas pulled by a rope. Impressionist sunset painting on an actual Californian beach. Giant half sunflower with vintage world map at its center which is being approached by a toy airplane that is pulling the rope from the vintage visas. Pictures taken of me in different parts of the world border the full acoustic piano that holds a Van Gogh painting. Tiny man, playing accordion that looks like mine, sits besides the scripture found at Eccl 3:11 which are on the piano. The piano keys are swarmed by the fireflies that come from the jar to the right. Finally: bottom of the piano, below the keys, is full of cork.
I saw an idea on Pinterest that talked about a “happy box” (I think that’s what it was called). The idea is to decorate a box and fill it with things that bring you joy so you can open it and go to it whenever you have a bad day. Well, since I’ve been more into digital collage making lately, I thought I’d just take that box idea and make this. I looked up as many photographs of general but beautiful things that bring me joy then resized them, cut them and placed them in certain areas. Not only was it therapeutic, but it really felt like something that was done purely out of the joy of my heart. In other words, I made this with all my heart!
I realize that I have a slightly unhealthy way of dealing with anxiety especially when it reaches an intense level. Basically, I’ll sob until it’s physically painful. I’ve done it for years and that’s the issue, that’s the pathway that my nervous system has used to deal with the stress. I am trying to build other ways that can both release, but also fortify my nerves. Prayer has always been a good one, and I’m also trying to be mindful of the ways that I react and respond and how it affects me. It’s during these times I am not the kindest to myself. It is during these times when kindness is what I need most from myself.
Honestly, I consider myself a generally happy person. I have so many reasons to be happy. I am very optimistic, but yet, I also have this habit of foreboding joy. I enjoy an experience most after it’s passed which, I used to believe that was better because then I could enjoy it as long as I wished.. but that isn’t always the case. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy most of the great times in life. I want to just accept the present, pleasant moment for what it is and really really absorb it. That right there is something I’ve been trying to fix for years! I’m slowly getting it, but it’s going to take a while. One of the main reasons I want to get better at this is because I want to be able to better enjoy and absorb the blessings that Jehovah gives me in the moment as best as I can, instead of realizing it later. I want to improve in my gratitude.
We’re all a work in progress, but we have to trust the journey. In the end, everything is going to be okay. No, it’s going to be INCREDIBLE! We all just have to keep pushing and keep chasing after that inner peace that our Creator so generously loves to provide. It’s a journey we will be on probably for our entire lives, but it’s worth staying on.
So, I was about to sit here and try to describe the meanings of the collage but…. it’s just too much. I know what everything on there means and what they remind me of and what they’re tied to. I’ll leave the interpretation up to you. Better yet, you should try to make your own Collage of Joys! It’s really a nice little happy project.
Finally, remember that everything bitter and unpleasant is temporary.
Keep going! You’re doing great! ;D