Accepting Yourself as a Work of Art

Art Undone - Acceptance

I was in the fourth or fifth grade in, ironically, art class when I realized that my initials spelled art. I thought it was super cool that my initials spelled art and of course, I made a big deal out of it for the rest of the class time. But, sometime between that class and college, I forgot about ART. Well, maybe I didn’t forget about my initials being ART, but it didn’t have any significant meaning. During that period, I also never connected to art. I always thought it didn’t make much sense to me. It felt unattainable. I didn’t get it.

So, here I am now, completely embracing Art as a name and as a concept. Yes, the initial reasoning behind this was to have a synonym for my name during my job searching process, BUT it’s turned into so much more. How, because, I, you and we are all pieces of art. The Oxford Dictionary defines art as “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture”, and I’d like to add such as people. Because isn’t part of who we are imagined and manifested?

We create our vision and we paint our lives with action. It doesn’t always turn out exactly how we imagined. Sometimes we draw out the lines. Sometimes we’re abstract paintings that people don’t get because everyone’s used to looking at photorealism. Art is subjective. We are subjective. There are artists who never get their due respect until they’re dead. There’s not one single work of art that every single person in this world loves. But, there’s someone out that loves the “ugliest” painting to ever be made. We are all art. We paint our story.

And just like painting, once the paint is on the canvas, no matter what you do, you can’t ever completely start over. You can re-imagine and re-utilize, but you can’t start over. You just have to take what you have and make it beautiful. Some works of art take longer to “fix” than others, but the most important and essential part of this process is that when you walk away from your piece of art, you should walk away proud. Even if you have to turn, rotate or flip it, you, the artist, should be able to say job well done, even if your art isn’t completely done.

Accepting and loving your art during the entire process.

Every layer matters. Every stroke matters. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, it is now apart of your journey and it will eventually create and allow you to picture exactly who you are at that moment and time. It may not be ideal, but it is who you are. A part of art and you being art is accepting who you are at every stage of your life, no matter how you feel about it. As you continue to grow, you’ll learn how to turn your mistakes into flowers and your regrets into depth. It’s all about perception. It’s important during your process to be honest with yourself, but also look at the canvas you’re painting as invaluable. Every stroke matters, so do it with passion, determination and intention. It’s okay to not know exactly what you’re painting or doing, but it is important to do it with intention.

Accepting that you are the artist and your canvas is yours.

The day you realize that this life you are painting is yours and there’s an audience of one, the quicker you can start create something that fulfills you and makes you happy. It’s your canvas, so do as you please. Get wild, even reckless. Just know everything will have its place in your story. Just remember this life, this canvas is yours, so make it count in the best way you can.

Signed,

Art Undone

The Plight of Positivity | Art Undone

Art Undone- The Plight of Positivity

I’ve always been known as a pretty positive person. I would say that I’ve always described myself as positive and optimistic. Always smiling and strong. Never letting anyone really see my sweat. It was never a role, it just felt like who I was. Little did I know a lot of the positivity was a survival tactic. You don’t have time to be a Debbie downer or sad when shit has to be done. You just have to figure it out and keep it moving. However, as I always say, life has a way of life-ing, and I found myself questioning positive thinking and if it was all a lie.

I got sick. I thought I was going to die. I was ready to give up. I was actually planning how people would find me. Dark, right? Yeah, I know. I couldn’t believe this was me myself. I was so defeated and the only positive I saw was waking up the next morning. Now, no need to worry, I wasn’t actually dying, it just felt like it. I was taking some information my body gave to me and amplified it times 1000 in my mind. It was bad and I didn’t know how to get out of it.

What was even more frustrating to me is that I felt like this wasn’t me. I wasn’t a negative Nancy. I was a positive sunflower so who the hell was this girl preparing for her death? In the words of the undeniably talented icon, Mariah Carey, “I didn’t know her”. All I knew was I didn’t like who I was and all I wanted to do was get back to positive rainbows and sunrays because this was for the birds.

So, positivity is great right? Of course, but not when it’s a shield to protect you from your real feelings. When I got sick, all I could do was deal with all those thoughts I had been suppressing for years. I felt so defeated. There was only the end and I just wanted to be prepared for the worst instead of ever thinking there could be a happy ending. I went in the complete opposite direction.

I hated the fact that this version of me existed. She wasn’t supposed to be like this. I felt like a complete fraud. Was being positive a scam? Was I a scam? I was going through it.

So, what happened next? I went to therapy because what else could I do? I needed help and I couldn’t figure it out alone.

After many sessions and much-needed help, I realized that me in my raw, negative form was just as much a part of me as a person as the positive version of myself. It didn’t mean I had to like it, it just meant I had to acknowledge it. Once I was able to acknowledge that version of myself, I was able to work on her. It didn’t mean she would ever go completely away, but I could work with her better.

The plight of positivity is the dismissal of everything else that doesn’t fit into that category. It can be just as lethal as the plight of negativity. I had to disconnect from my ultra-positive social media followers and holistically accept myself for who I was at that moment. It wasn’t easy but worth it. I’m still working on all of this, but I wanted to share my current relationship with positivity and myself. Here are a few takeaways as well:

  • You should strive to find a silver lining when it’s available but know that when you dismiss all things negative just to get there, those same things have a way of coming back around in the worst way.
  • It’s okay to feel negative feelings and let them out. It’s okay to not always be positive. That doesn’t make you less strong. It’s commendable to acknowledge all your thoughts and place them as you need in order to be okay.
  • Sometimes in order to survive, we do what will get us through the best. That may mean ignoring every bad thing in your life and only focusing on the positives. Just know that you shouldn’t always be in a flight or fight mode.
  • You must be willing to accept yourself for exactly who you are in order to start changing in any way you deem necessary. Just because you don’t like a certain part of yourself, doesn’t mean it’s not you. You can always learn to manage or fix it as much as you can but be willing to accept yourself as you are and that will make the work a lot easier.
  • Always, always give yourself room to breathe. Any internal work you do is not going to be easy. You’re putting yourself to a test of exposing the true you. It’s okay to just be as much as it is to grind towards your internal goals.
  • There’s always work to be done, so it’s also okay to be content in being undone.

Signed,

Art stay Undone.