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Turning Empty Around

I read a quote the other day that made my mind wander:

Give until your heart is full.

How much giving is that?  Two years ago I started sending happy mail.  Giving away what I made.  Spending my own money on postage.  Daydreaming about the smiles that were happening on the receiving end.  Touting that I was doing this project to make myself happy, and no one else.  

The truth?  Two years later and I felt empty.  I felt like I gave and gave.  The end result was most often a hollow Facebook message that says "thanks for the cards."   Not what I imagined would happen.  This was not part of the daydream.  I had visions of pen pals and letters dancing in mailboxes.  All the returned messages weren't hollow, but the heartfelt ones didn't feel like enough.  I didn't feel like I was on the right path.  So.  I quit.  I quit sending happy mail.    

This isn't the first time I've felt this kind of empty.  I'm a giver, I give and give and give.  Always feeling like I'm receiving much less in return.  When I start to feel empty, I retreat.  I recharge by being alone.  Yes.  I know there are some of you who won't understand that.  I'm an extroverted, introvert.  Yep, that's right.  Spread too thin, I often run out of energy.  I also internalize things too much and the only way I know to recharge is to retreat from the world around me.  In the words of Yoda - Retreat I did.

I tossed the daydream and picked up my sketch pad and micron pens.  I poured myself into drawing.  Drawing is something I recently started doing when the stress starts to cripple my mind.  I needed to do something for me.  I stopped doing it for other people and focused on my art.

I started posting pics of my work on Facebook and Instagram because that's what I do.  I take photos and post them.  One of my pieces sparked a request for a custom order.  This, this made me change my focus.  This encouraged me to embrace my art.

The art kept happening and I started focusing on a different type of giving.  Pouring my talent out into the world and giving it life, filling my heart and helping me turn empty around.