I haven't been creating enough. I used to create art all the time. It was how I stayed semi-sane in a world and life that felt completely insane.
I haven't given myself permission to sit down and write very much and I certainly haven't been working on any art projects.
I know why this is my reality.
I fear judgment.
I fear opinion.
I fear the imperfect.
I let those fears stop me in my tracks, repeatedly.
I recall the moment when I questioned my gift of creativity.
I remember the moment when I let the opinion of someone I looked up to, completely change my course of creative action and my ability to be in creative flow.
I was engaged in a long term project that I had no choice but to finish. As an art student, the completion of my degree depended upon it.
What started as a project rooted in the love of creativity, form, and color, quickly turned into a project attached to resentment and anger.
It became increasingly difficult to work in a studio that no longer felt comfortable and safe.
The studio had become a place of judgment.
I attempted to disengage from opinion to finish my work and that wasn’t easy.
The project become less about me and my love of art and more about being ruled by other people’s opinions.
He has no idea how his opinion and comments influenced me. He has no idea that I handed my power over to him.
This project was something that I should have been proud of. Not one piece of this body of work is on display in my house. I have plenty of other works of art from my college years but none from this final celebration of my degree.
For me, the final hurrah was getting it done and over with.
I don’t even remember how I was graded. I vaguely remember positive comments from my peers and several of the faculty.
Sadly what I remember the most is the opinion of someone I had put on a pedestal. The negative feedback from him overruled multiple positive accolades.
From that day forward, for 15 years, my creative flow has been stunted. My creative output is but a fraction of what I believe it would have been had I not given a shit about someone else’s opinion.
All my life I have cared about the opinion of others over the value of myself.
I have allowed tens of thousands of opinions to infiltrate my psyche and *@ck with my head. I have valued someone else’s thoughts and beliefs over my own. It’s a challenge that I still struggle with today.
Choosing to value other people’s opinions rather than trusting myself has created an intensely difficult relationship with my body. The emotions that were created from this conflict of interest have been (and still are in many cases) the very reasons why I’ve hated my body and chosen to hurt her repeatedly.
The opinion of others is the reason I have been:
A pill popper
An over exerciser
This is how I handled difficult situations. This is how I made it through.
This list of identifiers is one that many would feel shame in sharing. Don’t get me wrong, this is uncomfortable.
While you’re in it, it’s uncomfortable. While you look back at it, it’s uncomfortable. When it’s put out there for people to judge it’s uncomfortable.
This shit is never comfortable. No one said these experiences were going to be comfortable.
The invitation is to remember that an opinion is feedback about a person...their likes, dislikes, belief systems, and how their past experiences are influencing their current opinion.
If we can learn to see opinions as feedback about someone and not about ourselves, the charge is taken away. We become less likely to hide out of fear, to do strange and horrible things to our bodies, to hold back from our greatness.
If someone has said something that has hurt you deeply and you’ve held onto it for years, allowing them to control your life long after they are out of your life, it is time to see that their opinion is theirs to own, not yours to carry. It’s time to forgive, because most likely, what was said was never meant to hurt you.
Forgiveness is hard but it goes along way. Forgiving releases you from the energy of resentment and anger so that you can invest in your purpose on earth. The process of forgiveness has the potential to allow you to heal from unwanted, punishing, and self destructive behaviors.
Today, start the process of forgiveness; of others and especially of yourself. Without forgiveness, healing your relationship with food cannot happen.