Genesis 1:27 God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female* he created them
A way back when in my journey (RCIA) toward Full Communion in the Church we learned the 15 attributes of God as presented in John Hardon, SJ’s The Catholic Catechism A Contemporary Catechism of the Teachings of the Catholic Church. At the time we discussed this I kept thinking we were over my head that I wasn’t smart enough to go through this particular catechism (summary of teachings). It was heady and I didn’t see my self as particularly smart. I struggled through this. Part of the conversation with leader included how intense I am. Couldn’t deny that then, can’t deny that now.
Here I am in my mid 40’s and clarity is setting in. If God sees the beauty He created in me, in the gifts he gave me I am called to cling to that beauty and goodness. I am called to look for that good not only in myself but in others. It’s not always easy. Sometimes, more frequently than we’d like, we don’t present our best selves. I want to come to better terms with myself and others.
One way I work toward helping my students improve their quilting (I’m talking machine quilting here) is to recognize that: most people will see the beauty of their work rather than the flaws; most people will comment on the good that they see rather than pointing out flaws. We know where the flaws are. We just do.
Sometimes this comes back to me. I’ll say something that diminishes myself for example moving my fat booty out of the way. And one of my friends totally and rightly called me out on it. And for me I got into that pondering mode again. If I’m going to encourage my friends and students to look for and look at the good, to look for the beauty then I need to remember to see the beauty and the good in myself, the same way I look for it in others and encourage them to see it in and of themselves.
This isn’t easy, it’s complicated, downright complicated. As women we have a tendency to be self-deprecating, demure. We apologize at the drop of a hat for so much – so much that we really shouldn’t Any woman who is confident and secure and knows what she wants and is willing to do the work to get there is pride-ful and bitchy. We’re taught not to appreciate our own God-given gifts. Hmmmm, this seems so wrong, no, it is wrong.
If I say I’m a good quilter I’ll hear something along the line of “self-praise stinks”. If I hear someone else tell me I’m a good quilter the response should be something demure or pointing out of my flaws or this list could go on forever. I’ve said for years I’m a good teacher but I’m not for everyone. This is a statement of experience and reality. Part of this is the personal affinity for a particular teacher. I’ve often said I’m not a good student when in reality it’s probably not true. Once I get the concept I need to go explore the boundaries. In my experience it often frustrates teachers. This has informed my teaching. I teach concept then want my students to explore. If my students blow through what I have outlined for the class I will do whatever I can to move them on and let them push the boundaries of the class. Every student learns and thinks and moves through the process of learning to quilt differently. I want to honor that.
I’m a good quilter. I want to honor this God given gift by doing the work and acknowledging the gift and the creativity. I want to be ever more grateful for this gift by sharing it with anyone who wants to learn.
I’m thinking it’s just time to grow. Time to accept the reality of these God-given gifts and embrace them fully by living as well as I can. Being patient with myself as well as others. Being loving with myself as well as others. Being caring with myself as well as others.