When I finally landed on self-control as the 3rd and final dress, my advisers were shocking and unsure that a dress about control would be beautiful. They imagined a dress resembling a straight-jacket not allowing freedom at all, because being “self-control” is a negative idea for many.
I felt something would come of my research. How often do we feel out of control in our lives? Too much to do in the day? week? month? or even the year? A stash that seems just too large to ever get through but that you have no love for? Too many patterns in queue? Too much to do at work? Never enough time to do it all in? Your weight spiraling out of control? Children who won’t listen? stuff all over your house cluttering so that you just can’t seem to have others over?
So what do we do with these things? How do we control them or do we just let those parts of us be controlled by others? Many people grab different things to control so that they can feel in control. Keeping a planner full with no time to put up their feet and rest except to drop into bed late at night to fall asleep instantly. Controlling their emotional pain by cutting or developing anorexia or bulimia. Following an addiction which seems to allow the person to control things but in fact grips them into a lack of control, because you are no longer personally in control of your destiny. You have been snared by your surroundings.
In your search for control, you have in a sense lost control. Its a weird balance to control but not to be controlled by the act of controlling. A true sense of freedom. This freedom and control means that we need to own up to our choices, the choices that ensnare and trap us into lacking freedom. Some of these choices aren’t physical choices but are mental lies that need to be broken. When you face these things, you most be strong and use the principles of patience and love. Through facing your life struggles, you gain control, an inner control – true self-control.
In my search for definitions of self-control, I ran across one that mentioned wrapping one’s arms around oneself to hold ones self up. I imagined long arms wrapping around and around the body to control. I created long delicate gloves to be these arms that could be wrapped or rearranged in such a manner to control a delicate control that even when wrapped tightly do not bind.
This was to contrast the unstructured dress which covered simply the body but did nothing to hide or control. The gloves were useful for control but they also symbolized their ability to get tangled up into the surroundings – the outside world. At the core of the dress is a “corset” of gauzy silk. This girds the inner core of the dress. It strengthens and reminds the wearer to not become entangled by facing your struggles, admitting them and placing them behind you. Once you confront those things controlling you, you will become truly free because you are starting to exert self-control.