Authenticity is a word that artists use a lot. It really is what we strive for. We strive to find our authentic voice. We want our work to be "real", to speak about who we are.
I have spent a lot of time in the last year reliving my life and regretting many things and seeing only the failures and pain and bad choices in my life. It all looked bleak. I blamed myself and mourned for what might have been had I made different choices. I saw how I had lied to myself and other people because I was afraid. I wanted to be loved and accepted so I lied. This was my breakdown. But, it was in the reliving of my life that I started to know myself. I couldn't help what was happening. My mind and thoughts were out of my control. I remembered so many things. I saw my judgement of all of it. I made myself a villain and a victim all at one time. This was the thought that stuck in my head. I saw myself as a victim. Bingo! I saw myself as a villain! Bingo!. I was judging every thing I had ever done and who I was. I was worried about everything. I knew that if I continued to see my life this way I would live a sad and meaningless life.
My dear friend Randy sent this to me when he knew I was writing this blog. Perfect!
From then until now much has changed but what I now see is that I had decided to become real. I had decided to be authentic. In becoming real you must own it all. I had to own the pain, the disappointment and loss but I also had to own the joy and wonder and power of my life. I have lived on this planet for 64 years and my life has been rich in amazing experiences. I have lived and loved and laughed and seen amazing things. It all matters. I also had been petty and mean and had lied and had done stupid things. What I had to focus on first was acceptance. Here I was, my life had been what it was. It sounds very simple doesnt it? I knew that I had to accept and forgive myself not just for things in the past but for what I was doing to myself now which was tearing myself apart with guilt and remorse and fear. I needed to accept that I could not change the past. I believe I always did the best that I could do. I see that who I am is not just the sum of the good parts. It is all the parts, all the imperfect parts. I made a choice to be kinder to myself and to focus on healing. I knew it would take some time. This is not easy but once you can step out of the past things change. Then it becomes easier.
After the small drawings in the studio I felt more confident and bought a big roll of paper and tore off a large piece and tacked it to the wall. I did several big drawings with oil sticks. I drew lines. I drew big, dark strong lines. I explored line and tone in a raw sort of way. Wow! It was great. It was so freeing, so much fun. And, lo and behold--- I didnt give a fig what anyone would say. Now that was freeing. That was exciting! This was about being in the moment. It was about being real.