I have been working on a particular painting since 2016. It began with a deep feeling but no idea where the piece was heading. I just knew something needed expressing.
There wasn’t a knowing about anything just in the moment experiencing of an emotional world. The painting has been through many stages.
I would engage and disengage and this cycle was perpetual. I couldn’t understand why or what was going on or even how, around and around. Most pieces I have painted and finished (even if revisited later and adapted). So what was it about this painting that had me feeling connected with it and then disengaged, over and over? I would put it out of sight unable to look at it for long periods of time. Recently in March I decided the original piece wasn’t reflecting the emotion that arose around it, something wasn’t reflected or finding its way out so I threw myself at it emotionally and started all over again (then couldn’t due to Covid). I wiped out almost all of the features other than the shape of the figure in the middle. I didn’t know why but knew it was very necessary. Change was necessary. This was the first time I had picked the painting up since 2018.
As I looked at it early this morning I understood! Finally, such clarity! That feeling I had spoken about in my post Life Lessons- The Grace In being Human. This was it right here! The painting process has been needing me to give myself permission to flow free with the honesty of all that lives in my heart, unsuppressed. Free, unsquashed, contorted or restrained. The painting had been trying to be the emulation of my felt sense of love. Since 2016 there have been many moments where this expression has been open then closed. Circular. As much as my heart has needed to flow free feeling the love outwardly and healthily after much internal learning there hasn’t been the space to and in many moments I felt like I have did not have a right to. Instead I suppressed it and consequently suffocated the emotion, this part of being. This suppression and mental removal of right (very mistaken choice) resulted in an engage/ disengage relationship with the artwork. I was projecting both my outer and inner felt experience into this painting.
The painting always remaining half present and persistently unfinished.
As I looked early this morning I seen something. I seen the effect of this process on my mind, the stress and yet somehow, now, in this moment there is a manifestation of resolve, calm and strength within the character’s face, I suppose a reclamation (within my own psyche) of the right to exist regardless, also something remarkable is equally emerging below. A contrast of flowers springing up, not the half ‘idea’ of flowers from before but a well watered garden that is more realistic and growing fully in its glorious way, finer more refined detail. Seeds that it seems I had planted these past years regardless inner struggle of open/ closed, engage/disengage. Here and now there is a coming to bloom (a wholeness of heart). The flowers are appearing and are contrasting the challenging burl of chaotic weather that is moving and pervading the upper half of the painting. Manifesting below appears to be a garden of beauty regardless the unfolding turmoil. There is a bed of deeply rooted life.
For the first time I see this! It is there. The conscious space in just ‘allowing’ is having some benefit somehow.
Emotionally I have pulled a plug out on some stuckness and all of the stagnant energy has begun to shift allowing a fresh flow. Seeing more clearly there has been a freeing and finally space. No longer feeling invisible. Life is full of ups and downs, ins and outs and it can be helpful for us if we are aware and accept this as a natural way of things. Natural impermanence and with awareness also that there is room for who we are as beings in this world. Accepting all just as is, in flux. No longer suppressing instead openness, growing, allowing, flowing.
The process of painting appears to represent the authenticity of my experience with this and love these past few years. There must finally be a sense within in this moment that it is ok to bloom regardless. It feels okay to express this heart’s story, non-adapted nor constricted. None of it is necessarily a truth but it is the narrative I have lived in and the one I’m working with at present.
Never again will I suppress any emotion or natural free flowing heart to feel accepted or included, it has a deeply detrimental effect on ones soul. This painting and my relationship with it is it’s own story.
The quote from my earlier post:
‘In French, you don’t really say “I miss you.” You say “tu me manques” which means, “you are missing from me”
As I mentioned in my previous post I have been engaging in beliefs and behaviour that have denied my heart it’s inherent natural honesty. Suppressing feelings that need room to exist, so there can be growth. With all compassion and understanding as to why, it was and is still my responsibility not to adapt and stifle. This is an old conditioning and habit that I no longer need to live by. It doesn’t matter now. Evaporated. Instead I have learned to speak clearly, upfront and honestly about what is there and to live with that no matter what. Even if it’s uncomfortable and means loss. I am no longer afraid of losing people or of letting things be. If a person is meant to be there they will be. If not then ok. Trust, consistency, congruence and respect for all whatever the outcome. Let the people you love fly free, free to find and make their own happiness, always. Whatever they feel they need support that, this is authentic love, non selfish non grasping. True love is allowing people to just be as they are, in their authenticity, wishing for their happiness whether it involves you or not 🙏🌸💗
It seems that in allowing, opening and giving space for heart to express freely, that by permitting love and honesty from within to flow authentically and honouring space for the emotion that lives inside, there has been learning. ‘I too have been missing from me’ (taking that sense of ‘I’ and ‘me’ lightly though). In this moment there is a coming to consciousness and a processing of a very long story.
As mentioned in a previous post my sense is that everything is made up of perception and the stories that we tell ourselves (that if we deeply look it is likely that we will find that are not really true, only in a felt or perceived sense which isn’t based in any objective truth beyond our own mind). Narrative, not truth, everything exists, there is space for it all. What we tell ourselves isn’t necessarily what is going on really. I am all for applying a lightness of ‘I’ ‘mine’ or ‘my’ in statements and feelings (as discussed in Life Lessons) this includes the stories of this heart. All just moment to moment arising. Mind chatter transient and illusory in essence. We know nothing and know not what may be but only ‘our stories/narrative’ of what was, which wasn’t really what was just how we feel about it in this moment’s mind story. Seeking clarity where and as much as possible can really help us grow and open our hearts wider.
The painting has and does embody this internal process. This character is the element of whole heartedness and a natural state of being within. The story of this heart ‘just being’, in a natural cycle of flux and bloom.
I will update the finished piece on www.stacieamelia.com when it’s ready, fine detail still in the works.
Musically chummed today by Levon Minassian https://youtu.be/Eq4EJq65BGk and also a playlist of Nina Simone‘s best 🙏✨