Last Friday the artist in me decided to paint. I took a canvas, a couple of brushes and different paint colors. My goal was to have a painting of a yellow flower. About an hour into painting, I had already done exactly that and added leaves with cool side effects. I decided to add the word “blooming” on top of that flower and so I did. Upon looking at the finished product, I completely hated it and knowing I was using a canvas and acrylic paint I couldn’t wash it away. I then had the idea of adding layers of paint until it could cover that word up except no matter how much I would try to cover where I went ‘wrong’ I could still see it. It bothered for a while until all of a sudden it was as though i had an epiphany.
In her new book ‘Don’t settle for safe’ Sarah Jakes Roberts writes,
“Becoming who you want to be may demand that you get rid of old ideas of what success looks like…There’s nothing wrong with not having figured out who you are, but so much can go wrong when you pretend you have.”
Life for each one of us is like a plain white canvas and every step/decision/action we take is like a brush stroke. In the beginning, we may have an idea of what our life will supposedly look like: good career, great friends, lovers, children for some, pets for others, traveling a lot, etc. Until it happens that we make a decision we knew/ thought/ hoped wouldn’t turn out so bad and when it does we turn it into a regret. We wish we could wash it away and go back to the good old days when our canvas wasn’t that messy but the only thing we’re able to do is cover it all up because anger, shame and all the negative emotions drive us to that.
We use facades, start to create illusions and spread false stories about who we are and what our story is, and even worse than that we do it to ourselves. We don’t want ‘us’ to see ‘us’ as a mess. At times we hide behind work, school, love, relationships, family so we don’t have time to face our truths. We tell ourselves that we do it so we don’t get judged by others but the only way someone can ever make us uncomfortable is if we were that with ourselves in the first place.
Art is a form of free expression. Have you ever thought that maybe your life with that ‘mistake’ is your masterpiece that others can learn from only if you are willing to not cover it up and own it? Or even better, have you ever thought that maybe your mistake helped you become a better artist to your own life? Have you ever considered that maybe it was that moment or incident that equipped you better to chase your destiny? You always use the excuse that it’s ‘too much’ to deal with but maybe opening up and facing your truths, understanding your patterns, locating your wounds will not be as painful as you thought it would be compared to the current weight and amount of work it takes your spirit to hide it.
I hope you come to yourself as you are. I hope you learn once again how to appreciate, love, and nurture yourself as you are.
Now tell me,
What are you hiding…from you?