Sometimes I just feel so unsure. That is why I paint!

we stand together

Sometimes I just feel so unsure.

About what’s actually real! My truth or someone else’s?

For so many years I’ve been looking to the outside to find the answers. Surely SOMEONE must know what to do to fix things – to bring about love instead of hate, to end discrimination, poverty, global warming.

The pain in my heart.

Unfortunately, I have found no one else who has the answers and that is why I paint. That is why I write. That is why when I get completely triggered, once I get over my tantrum, I look inside and ask why I got so triggered.

What in me was threatened? What in me is that other person reflecting for me to see? To help me transform within myself so I can be a bit more freer.

It’s so uncomfortable.

Sometimes I just have another tantrum and say fuck it, it’s their fault.

But I know that’s not true. I know if I’m uncomfortable, that I have some work to do.

 

So, how does painting help?

When I create a painting – from beginning to finish – I experience the range of emotions. It starts out fun and free, like “yay, I’ve just met the love of my life and they are going to be the perfect person for me.” I’m in bliss. Nothing held back.

Then I start to see the “flaws” in my own mark making. The painting turns ugly. My inner critic saunters in and leans against the wall having a cigarette (notice SHE’s not painting) and says, “See you SUCK at this. WHY are you even bothering?”

I know her now. At first, when I returned to painting she got my goat. Now, I expect her to show up and I wave, give her a head nod and go back to what I’m doing. She gets bored with no attention and eventually she leaves.

I then summon the inner steadiness to stick through the messy, uncomfortable, ugly parts of making a painting, because I know I WILL get to the other side.

But I have to commit. It’s exactly the mid-point of making a painting where I want to give up.

Resilience, stamina, discipline come into play – just like in relationship – oh yeah, that person is not going to solve my personal problems. DAMN. Maybe I should dump them and move on to find the one who will.

Uh uh. No…

As I stick through it, the joy returns. I’ve slid over the hump and the image starts to come together in feel, tone, composition, meaning. The excitement is back and it’s richer than the first fling.

It has more layers.

It’s deep with the meaning that has come through as the painting revealed itself.

My job is to listen to the muse. To be the channel. To let go of what I think I should be making and drop into the space of dancing with the Divine –  then the magic happens. And THAT is bliss.

It is there, that I find my teacher.

Divine intelligence speaking through me.

It is an awesome (note the word AWE) experience to let go and trust something else “has got this” and you can relax into following instead of leading.

It’s my biggest practice – to trust, surrender to something other than my own little efforts.

That is why I paint every day.

That is where I am getting an inkling of why I am here, what I am “supposed” to do.

How about you? Where’s your teacher?

Where do you find your own answers in life?