I'm a doubter. And a worrier. I've never been any different. When I feel bad, I worry things will never get better. When I'm happy, I worry something awful will happen and take everything away. Even when good things happen to me and life is at it's best, I'm secretly waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It stinks to be that way.
This weekend, I worked hard at transforming my gallery, Sanctuary of Davidson, and making it more open and lovely. For those who are not familiar with Sanctuary, it's a little gallery I started where I sell only handmade art, jewelry and gifts created by local artists. I have a love/hate relationship with my sweet little gallery. Mostly love......but occasional hate!
I'm not a natural business woman. I'm just a self taught folk artist. Running Sanctuary does not come easily to me as it would someone who knows business. I'm pretty much running it on my wits and some street smarts......and mostly by just what 'feels right'. I've made some very good choices and brought in some terrific artists. I've also made some very bad choices that ended up costing me money, heartbreak and a lot of my trust in people. I hate that.
Honestly, despite my occasional gripes......Sanctuary has been a beautiful experience for me. And I've made invaluable relationships with artists and art instructors I wouldn't trade for anything. I've learned to somewhat conquer my fear of failure by taking the plunge and teaching my modern folk art painting style to folks in a way that anyone can learn. I've learned how to create something out of almost nothing.......and make it successful. I've learned how to balance my personal, creative and business life (okay.....still working on this one!).
But.....I worry. And this weekend, after rearranging the gallery to make it more beautiful and to hopefully help my artists sell more of their work......I found myself very depressed.
Will people appreciate my hard work? Will the artists like what they see? Will they be angry that I moved their work around, even if it is now more visible? Will they really sell more? Did I waste all day away from my family for nothing? Does this gallery even matter to anyone???
Oh, boy. Get a grip!
And then I open my little book of verses I carry around in my purse.
'Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks......'
And at that moment....I remember that I made a conscious decision a while back to trust again. To trust that all gifts are good. They may be seasonal.....but that's okay. Sanctuary of Davidson is a good gift. So much has come from it. So many wonderful things. And my hard work is a good thing.....even if the gallery were to close tomorrow. Even when the gallery seems like it's killing me......Sanctuary was always meant to be a good thing. And it is....always. Even when I find myself up at night crying because I'm afraid I'm not giving all I've got to make it work. And then I cry some more when I realize I have nothing left to give her......and she still needs help.
It's not easy running an art gallery in a recession.
But......God wouldn't give me a gift and then throw me to the wolves. No way. Maybe I need those purging cries in the middle of the night. Maybe I need to remember that it's not all up to me. And that it's not always my fault when bad things happen at work......sometimes things just are what they are......and I have to keep breathing......keep eating......keep kissing my kids.......keep taking time to relax with a cup of coffee even when my brain says I should be working a little more....a little more....a little more.
So often, I forget there comes a time to just unclench my fists, open my hands, relax and know I've done my best....and trust God will step in however He decides to.
If I've learned anything from my business owner experience so far, it's that I can't do it alone. And I know that God will provide me with the right words, the right people, the right answers......if I keep trusting and not give in to my constant worry.
'Do not worry about anything........'