You know how when a 5 year old bounces up to you and proudly shows you a drawing, most people exclaim, “Wow, what a beautiful picture! You’re a great drawer!”
And the little kid leaves beaming. Feeling confident that indeed he is a wonderful artist, even though he colors mostly outside the lines.
In fact, done over time, that’s how all of us build our self-esteem and learn to feel worthy inside.
Just now, I realized that is what Greg does for me all the time!
I just finished drawing and coloring a garish rendition of the new barn I hope we’ll be building next spring. See pic above.
Putting colored pencil to paper is one way I work on manifesting my heart’s desire. I put my goal in vivid color. Then I post the colorful drawing where we see it every day.
I’m not quite sure how I was a better artist when I was 12 then I am today, but let me tell you, these drawings are never pretty.
Somehow, it never comes out looking like it did in my mind.
Frankly, it disappoints me.
But then along comes Greg, and he’ll always exclaim, “What a nice picture. You’re such an artist.”
And I know it’s not true. I mean, I have eyes. They work.
But even though I know this praise isn’t objectively earned, in the same way the 5 year old’s “outside the lines” isn’t truly well done, it still feels good.
Maybe the words speak to my inner 5 year old and tell her, “Hey, whatever your natural skills, you’re still perfect to me, just the way you are.”
And knowing that makes me feel loved, and safe, and it builds my strength to go out and do things, try things, even if I’m not so good at them.
Maybe that’s part of what makes a great relationship.
You build each other up, and knowing that just one other person thinks you are great, makes you reach for your own greatness.
Because even if you fail, you know it won’t make a difference in their eyes.
And even more, knowing your partner will stand up with you, proud of your efforts, even if they aren’t the most successful.
Just the way Greg says “No, leave the picture up.” Even when we are having company over.
He’s not embarrassed by my childish drawing because it represents a dream. Our dream. That together, we’ll bring to reality.
In what way does your partner build you up so you’ll reach for your greatness?