As we grow into our lives we experience pain and disappointment, which in turn foster resentments and dis-contentment. We may also experience intense grief, physical pain, and emotional turmoil, which imbues in us distrust and fearful feelings. All of these may block our creative development, impede our progress in a career, and stunt our growth as human beings. We become imprisoned by our own thoughts and trapped in downward spirals. The temptation to self-medicate or to throw ourselves into empty pleasure-seeking can become overwhelming.
If you are still walking the planet at this moment, you have likely found ways to recover and cope. The only way I have found to move forward is by accepting that I will never be validated by the people from my childhood and that I cannot rewrite the past. I cannot prevent the tragedies that have occurred to those I love and I cannot spend my life ‘proving’ myself to others. I have attained enough detachment to function well in the day-to-day, I have accepted the people in my life as they are, and I realize that I, alone, am responsible for my reality. Most importantly, I feel a welling of gratitude inside me that provides impetus for my current endeavors and forms the basis of my consistent, underlying happiness. These feelings are not situational which means they stick like good friends, buoying me along every day and, unlike the stereotype of the suffering artist, I find improvement in my artistic vision and skills the ‘healthier’ I become.
I committed myself to developing my own artistic vision late last year after dabbling and experimenting for the previous 15 years or so. I got up every morning early and painted, whether I felt like it or not. My progress was slow at first with many throw aways and much frustration as I tried techniques and subject matter out of my usual zone.
It is a year or so later and I have glimpsed the artist I know now is in there. I am happy with my progress and am greatly surprised by some of my work. My daily painting flows nearly effortlessly and is more connected to who I am. Most importantly, I am no longer ‘frozen’ or incapacitated by my moods, emotions, or everyday problems. I paint and I am free. This is what I am deeply grateful for. This in turn makes me a better person for my family and friends. Will it last forever? I do not know, but I will enjoy this life, the one I always wanted, for as long as possible without doubt or question.
Gratitude opens our hearts to others. So does acceptance. I am happy to have learned this lesson and to live this lesson. When I allow others to be as they truly are, they may or may not do the same for me, but more importantly, I allow myself to be who I am and that is a freedom I can enthusiastically recommend for that is the only way to truly share anything you have to give.
My very best wishes to you this holiday season and may you be the light for all those you come across as you traverse this somewhat tricky time of year.
P.S. Thank you for allowing me to ramble and for your kind comments.
Some current and up-coming collectible ACEO miniature paintings artwork at http://www.ebay.com/usr/monroart: