I used to believe life was subtractive. That when I made a mistake, it was a sin, and that I then had to put in monumental effort to repent, make up for my sin, and then hold my breath and try my darndest not to make a single mistake ever again because then I’d be less than perfect all over again. I believed I was reliant on Jesus to take me from being less-than and make me worthy of love. I believed I was always short of being good enough.
I don’t believe that anymore.
Now I believe life is additive. I believe in failing forward – that every mistake is a step towards becoming better, more of the person I want to be. I believe I am already enough and everything that happens from here on out builds upon that. I believe there are no bad experiences because everything gives me more wisdom, more versatility, more strength, and because I just think experiencing new things is generally awesome (tragic experiences excepted).
Recently, I’ve adopted the plus sign as the symbol of my new outlook. Not just because it’s a sign of positivity (to be honest, I’m not a believer that positive thinking is always the way to go – negativity has to be fully experienced as well) and, more importantly, very clearly signifies the additive nature I believe life has, but because it is so similar to the cross.
The way I see it, this is my very clear rejection of the cross. I have taken it, chopped it off at the base and made it mine; made it into something I can believe in.
So, to bring this thought and reminder with me everywhere I go, I made a necklace for myself:
It actually is made out of a cross, too. I used to craft altered books out of old jewelry so I took a cross from one of the necklaces, cut it down to plus sign size and glued it onto a really cool wooden button. Voila.
I love this. I love what it means, I love that I made it with my own hands, and I love that it was literally fashioned from a cross. Creativity can take many forms and, in some cases, it hits you where and when you least expected.
And sometimes it can be as simple as fashioning a necklace out of a button – but so much more meaningful.