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by Gysela Gervais

Recently, I became enchanted with counted cross stitch…again. And in my enchantment, I pulled out my supplies and came across several unfinished projects…some rather recent, others not so much.

My obsession began when I was about 10 or 11 years old. A family friend introduced me to the orderliness and simultaneous creativity of the craft and I wholeheartedly threw myself into the counted cross stitch domain. I was not very discriminatory with my project selection…I simply wanted to create. So I did. Even without a plan for the end purpose of the project once complete.

Soon, I started piling up projects. I didn’t know why I was doing them or what I would do with them once I finished them, so two things happened: I left some projects alone, and others I gave away. The above image is one such project that I abandoned. So, as the pattern still appeals to me, I picked up this project to complete.

Then, some odd things began to happen. As I began to review my progress compared to the pattern, I began to remember things…thoughts I had, emotions I felt, experiences with other people, places I was…all things that were current as I stitched various areas of this pattern. And, the memories spanned several years. Apparently, I’ve set this project aside more than once.

As these memories came back to me, I noticed some connected emotions to them…some pleasant and some not so pleasant. At one point, my memories became so strong that I had to put the project down and simply focus on my remembering, because my emotions were starting to flip-flop all over the place. So, I surrendered to the journey, trusting that there was a purpose to it.

Several minutes into the surrender, I found myself awash in emotions…some of which I thought I had completed and released years ago. I couldn’t understand why these things were coming up yet again. I asked my Guides for support, and they told me that I didn’t need to wallow in the sea of emotions…it was a process I would understand better by continuing to work on the project. So, I did.

I continued to compare the unfinished work with the pattern and I soon noticed a pattern in my stitching…I had skipped over some rather important parts…the detailed parts…the multitude of half cross stitches in various colors. Looking at those gaps, I remembered the moment of decision to skip them. I remembered being impatient that I was spending so much time on the details that I felt as though I was accomplishing nothing. I’d spend hours on the pattern and no one could tell that anything had changed. So, in frustration, I decided to skip the “hard and tedious” parts, and only work on the sections that would go quickly…even though it was going to make the “hard and tedious” parts more difficult later.

As I looked at the piece now, realizing all the clean-up work I had ahead of me as a result of my younger decision, I also realized how much have changed since those impatient and impetuous days. It was a surreal moment of time travel to meet myself so starkly from another existence.

At first I was annoyed with my younger, immature, instant-gratification self. And then I realized that those were simply my limits then…the details were overwhelming to me at that time, so I shifted my approach to the project, allowing me to still accomplish the task, yet do it in a more enjoyable way. Pretty clever of me, actually. And, even more clever, is that the me in the now, the older and more mature me, actually enjoys the detailed and tedious work…the finer points of the project, because, it is these finer points the make the end product so appealing.

These parts of the pattern were the reason you chose it to begin with.

Yes, it takes a long time to work them out, and yes, it takes up more embroidery floss to address these areas than if I had done so when stitching the rest of the areas, and yes, despite the many hours I have put into this project recently, I doubt most people could tell me what I did. But. They would know that something had changed…the picture was clearer…they could understand areas they couldn’t before.

And this is the lesson of this time and your memories. You chose to be here for these detailed moments of completion…of understanding…of seeing the picture in ways you never saw before. These detailed and tedious moments are why you chose this lifetime, and why it had to be now instead of before…you weren’t ready.

So, as I work on this project, now with an end goal in mind, I’m not only filling in the gaps with thread and needle, I’m also filling in gaps of spiritual and personal understanding in the bigger picture of my life…and it will continue to fill with small pieces…little moments of clarity…wee snippets of understanding…until enough has been done for me to have that big “AHA!” moment, complete the project, and release it from my life for good.

And, perhaps, it will also be the same for you through this full-moon-in-Virgo week. If so, may you be supported with compassion, wisdom, and much Love.

And so it is.

~Gysela

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