What Have We Learned?
In one of my recent Instagram posts, a fellow artist commented on something I'd written about finally surrendering to this life as an artist. He mentioned that he'd been told as a kid that art wasn't something you can life off, and I instantly identified with his share. See, it really hung on to me until eight or nine months ago, that art wouldn't be something to make a living on. And forgive me for repeating myself on this topic, but because I have the values that I have, I think these serious, harmful irrationalities are important to take care of. I truly identify with sitting in total joy with my friends in kindergarden, making something on the paper that people find pretty, and then an adult (so irresponsible!) telling me that it's a shame artists don't get acknowledged before they're dead. Dead. What a horror for a 5 year old! Apparently, I had to die before my drawings would be worth something. I honestly hope no-one will have to die before their work and effort is worth something - and of course, I now understand the innocence of the remark back then, but back when I was just 5 and everything the grownups said was the truth.
It's taken me a few years to conquer my irrational beliefs, and healing the "not worthy" an "not going anywhere" aspects have just changed my life tremendously. It's been so important. Now, some time has passed - and I'm working joyously and happily on my stuff. I believe my life purpose centers around art and that my soul was always kind to remind me and keep me on track. Not necessarily on practicing the painting or drawing, but really reminding me to keep looking, to regard life with openness and curiosity. To really see with the aim to understand whatever I was regarding. After all, that's the one and true skill of the artist, whereas all the practical stuff is just passing it on. It's just technique and being the messenger of the message.
I want to talk about shadows and mirrors. Now, I don't recall the specific person back in the kinder garden who told me I wouldn't experience the success of my own art in this lifetime, but that's irrelevant. What I know for sure now is that this person was never talking about reality as it was, nor about me. They were talking about themselves - and how they viewed the world and its opportunities. They were talking about the people they thought could make it. About their perception. And there were probably a bunch of other things in their remark, but one thing I know for certain is that I now know none of that stuff was about me. Their shadows were convincing them of this perception, and so all they said to me was a mirror of themselves.
I think we tend to forget our shadow sides and mirrors when living our lives and growing up. Simple things such as the fact other's moods are out of my responsibility or that whatever triggers my emotions are never about the triggers, but the shadow parts in myself that creates a narrative willing to buy into certain belief systems. Obviously, I must have had this adult's irrational narrative in me even before they said it, otherwise I'd have just forgotten it all. And I've taken in and allowed a lot of irrationalities throughout my upbringing and adult life. A lot. And they all need updates, action, new patterns and whatnot. It's not an easy thing, believing in yourself if your soul is leading you just a little bit outside the norm. Not easy at all. Fortunately, in most people, there's always been this tiny part in them with hope and trust, that no matter what, everything around you does or says, it keeps saying "no, you are right. This is for you, even if everyone else tells you the opposite." Mine was like that always, and I didn't bother telling most people about it, I just followed it to the best of my ability, sometimes leading friends to think "what the hell is she doing? Does she even have a plan?" Which now, I find quite amusing.
Although faith was always in me, it's still been an honest choice to actively heal and update my shadows and beliefs.
Although faith was always in me, it's still been an honest choice to actively heal and update my shadows and beliefs. And I continuously do so, because this is deep and perseverant work, that'll grow me further into the life of my dreams. I'm not entirely living off arts yet, but I'm getting there. I can see it, and I can feel it. And through this healing process, I realise that my newfound way of living is far more safe and secure. That is because I base my safety within myself and my attitude. Nowhere outside of me, but within.
This past year has really shown us all that we aren't necessarily secured or saved in outside material things, and I find that the strongest people during this pandemic have been the ones that hav it easier adapting to and accepting change. Or, maybe I'm too biased to know, cus I've experiences that's what's getting me through it and that the people I see closely or in the outside world have worked those qualities. Maybe I just see mirrors, but honestly don't mind if I do. I haven't been really scared or felt I had no options. I haven't felt lonely. Instead, all that has been turned around, but I know a lot of people more extroverted have suffered in the lack of company of others, that some have gotten so used to a certain way of living and have had all that taken away in an instant. This post is not about them, because I do feel sorry for those with loss, as well as those with loss to Covid, and I do feel compassion for them.
These are reflections based on the most, now proven, fact that's been emphasised in the past year; security based in outside things or even people is false security. Security within yourself is the most rational, safe and sound one, cus it's all you've ever had and all you'll ever have.
Oneself. To many, it doesn't seem like much, but it really is. It really is. In the following months, I'm gonna go ahead and grow on my art - but from within, of course. And when I start basing my safety and security in my arts, it's time to take a step back and reconnect to my truth, that is:
it's my purpose and it's a joy, but never will that be attached to my sense of security, for that is based within.