It’s hard to make out the difference between a gut feeling that something isn’t for you and the fear or resistance to change from your old self. Having been allowed the opportunity to re-do something, to approach it with a different attitude, to be more present and learn to appreciate it the second time around, I chose to believe my issue was the latter. ‘I’m probably still not seeing things for the blessing that they are’ I told myself. ‘I just need to work a little harder.’
Making the decision to exchange the time that would be spent working on my art for a less fulfilling activity that would make it possible for me to fund my art wasn’t sitting well with me but in my mind, and according to a lot of the self-help banter we hear and read everywhere, this sacrifice was surely justified. It had to be. So I changed my demeanor, changed my outlook, learned to be less attached to the idea that every activity has to be fulfilling and meaningful and paid my dues.
Funny enough, the exhaustion and mental strain from engaging in something uncaptivating just made it all the more difficult for me to strap on my boots and do the work that really mattered. I started to think, ‘Is it worth it? Is my art worth it? Is this sacrifice actually helping me produce more or is it working in my detriment?’ I think we all know what the answer to this is by now.
Sometimes we get a little too enamored by the idea of ‘being proactive’ and ‘taking our destinies into our own hands’ that we start doing things that are counterproductive, thinking that we’re helping when we’re actually hindering. Maybe having faith and trusting a higher power to help and guide us, in some cases actually means being hands-off and letting things fall where they may. Maybe the ultimate proof of faith in your idea is to forgo any other means of making it happen sooner or better and just focus on the work. Focus on the art.
Or maybe this is me trying to find an excuse to invalidate the necessity of this sacrifice.
(To be continued)
[This is part 2 of a 3 part series about a situation I recently dealt with. These are mostly journal entries and I wrote them as the events progressed. They highlight my change in thought, perception and outlook from beginning to end, while trying to find an answer to the question: ‘how much are you willing to sacrifice for your art?’. If you haven’t yet, please read parts one and three here and here respectively. Enjoy!]