Color with a Broken Set of Crayons
The only good part about the first day of school was the new box of crayons.
It was amazing to open up a brand new box. Each crayon was perfect. The tip was sharp. The wrapper in place. And usually, none of were broken.
It didn’t take long for the brand new box of crayons to become a used box of crayons. Broken. Dull. Naked. Incomplete.
This used box of crayons is what life often feels like to me.
The Empty Half of the Glass
Sadly, most of us have been given a used box of crayons to write our stories with.
We are trying to draw a beautiful picture. A picture of who we want to be. A picture of what we want to do. A picture of who we want to help and to love.
But our crayons suck.
Our box is so bad, no self-respecting preschooler would consider using them. We don’t feel we have been the tools we need to make it work. And then we complain about what we do not have.
We complain about the colors that are missing.
We complain about the dull tips.
We complain about not knowing the name of the color because somebody removed the wrapper.
We see our box of crayons as not good enough. We spend our time wishing for something else. We refuse to start coloring.
And as a result we miss out on the possibility that our used box of crayons present.
The Broken but Useful Half
If we shift our focus from what is missing to what we have, our perspective on this used box of crayons transforms.
Our questions change from, “Why are my crayons broken?” to “What can I do with my broken crayon?”
We can find good uses for the colors we do have.
We can sharpen dull tips.
We can see the beauty of the color that is normally hidden underneath the wrapper.
Pablo Picasso put it this way.
If I don’t have red, I use blue.
The blank page becomes an opportunity regardless of the status of the crayons. A chance to color. To draw. To create.
Which Half of the Box Do You See?
The empty half isn’t there. Those crayons are long gone. Looking for them is a lost cause. Complaining about them is a waste of time.
When we focus on what is missing from our lives we are unable to live a better story. We can’t paint in blue because we can’t stop thinking about red.
But we can do something with what we do have.
Lacking red now becomes an opportunity to discover the possibilities that blue has to offer. To develop different shades of blue. To paint a blue sky. To paint the ocean blue. To even paint a blue apple.
It is possible to create a masterpiece with a broken set of crayons.
In your life, do you stare at what you don’t have? Or do you see your own possibility?
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