Art is the last place most people would suspect they would need self-compassion, but you would be surprised. After all of the experts that pass judgment on art, and tell people how art should be perceived, people begin to feel that art is a reflection of their competency or incompetency. Meanwhile, the purpose of art is to inspire, and add meaning to your life. Once art becomes just one more place for elitism, its true purpose dies, and with it the art. The only way art endures the generations is if people connect with it, develop their own narrative around it, and find inspiration in it. This means that the best art leaves room for you in it.
Room For Us
People often wonder whether art imitates life or life imitates art. People are inspired by art to live a certain way, and art has long been inspired by the sadness, excitement, hopes, dreams, and forbidden desires of the time in which it was created. The debate really needs no answer, but if you search hard enough, then you will probably find that it is both. What we care most about is that there is room for us in it. We need there to be room for us in the art we perceive, and in the life that we perceive as well.
Think about it. What are your saddest moments? Most would say that their saddest moments involve loss, exclusion, or self-doubt/hopelessness. What do these three things have in common? Of course, there is no room for you. You can no longer participate in the relationship with someone, who has passed on. You cannot participate in events or in relationships from which you have been excluded. And, when self-doubt/hopelessness arises, it tells you that you cannot participate in life the way you imagined. Metaphorically, these feelings represent the feeling we have when someone shuts a door on us. It is all at once a profound sadness, an emptiness, a feeling of great loneliness.
Using What You Know To Live Well In Art And In Life
Given what you know about self-compassion, it is clear that you need art, events, and relationships that make room for you. If there is no room for interpretation or contribution, then you know you are staring at another firmly shut door, and as it is neither your responsibility nor what is in your best interest to fuss with the door, you simply observe it, and continue on your journey until you find one that is open.
People who close doors on us are merely grasping at empowerment in lieu of self-compassion. People tend to grasp firmly onto something, and exclude others to compensate for the parts of life they lack. It is not our job to help them open these doors. That is why their journey is referred to as their path and not yours. They have to do the walking! So, get out there and find some open doors, fill your heart, your mind, and your soul up with inspiration, wonderment, connection, and ease. Then, leave your door open to other well-intentioned people, so they too may live a very full, and happy life.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 215. In The Books.