Tonight I've created 3 pieces using the same abstract painting as a background in a very light palette. I didn't realise how light it was because I was working in huge magnification with my contrast set high. But rather than starting again it intrigued me that in these pieces perhaps I'm the only one who sees the true complexity and beauty. That got me thinking about how we judge ourselves against others, what we share with the world and how we might open ourselves more in order to live happier lives.
Do you really see
The truth behind the facade
This piece represents the layers of life which we make visible, or not, to the world. Of course not everyone should be given the key to our locked away secrets; but when we allow our reality to be seen we reveal our true beauty.
In the same way it is important that we give each other permission to reveal who we really are, to be real about how we feel and what we fear. By being open we can break down the barriers of expectation and judgement; we can support each other through difficult times.
This piece represents the false images which so many of us try to live up to - whether that be about our appearance or our physical limitations, or our mental health.
There is no "perfection"; no one is living the perfect life; and when we believe that we can remove ourselves from the negative cycle of judgement and comparison. The way we are in this moment is enough, more than enough - it is real and true, imperfect and messy; it's human.
So when I'm having a bad day, I'll share it and get support. When I'm in pain, I'll be kind to myself and rest. When I'm exhausted and getting frustrated, I'll let it out creatively and find peace to rest in. What I won't do is compare myself to other people's projections of themselves and beat myself up.
Revealing the mess
Beauty within the chaos
This piece represents the beauty of our messy realities. So many of us were brought up to hide the truth of our messy lives from the world; be that our homes, our appearance, our hopes or our mental health. We were told, or shown, that we have to present ourselves as perfect to be liked and accepted and loved. It's not true.
When I let myself be truly seen I found friendship and love, I found my tribe. When someone opens themselves up to me I am always blown away by the beauty of their reality. And yes, I mean beauty - true beauty in mess and pain and doubt and fear - that's where beauty is found because that's where we are most honest and true.
My life feels like a lot of a mess most of the time. I don't have it all together. I don't even know what "together" means. But amidst the pain, fatigue, frustration and grief, there is a huge amount of joy, love, hope and faith. It is only when I allow the hard stuff to be revealed that anyone can glimpse the good stuff.
Life is a mix of the good and the bad, interwoven in complex swirls.