Organizing my art supplies, I came across paintings that I had not thrown out and didn’t deem valuable enough to frame, or give away. Looking at each I could remember when it was exactly that I had decided that the work was not good enough to be shown to anyone. I remembered the brush stroke, color, line, wash, or the one little mistake that turned the painting from a beautiful image in my mind to an unacceptable reject. I even remembered what I did when I decided that the painting was unacceptable, I put away my paints and supplies and walked away. Somehow, I didn’t find these paintings bad enough to throw away. They were neatly stacked on top of each other under my art supplies, hidden, yet not discarded.
I was reminded of a conversation I had with a spiritual coaching client months ago. After a challenging coaching session where she admitted that she was fighting the process, she admitted that this is not the way she is when she is with other people. In fact, she said: “Most people think I am upbeat and funny. I always cheer everyone up and plough through my own hardships, at least that is what they say about me. I don’t know why I am being this way with you, I hope you don’t think of me as a negative and depressed person.” After reassuring her that I wasn’t judging her, I had to think about what she had said.
It is true that in an intimate coaching conversation, we reveal everything about ourselves. Even the discarded pieces of ourselves that we hide from almost everyone else, we show to our coach. I am a witness to all the undesirable paintings, the ones that are not acceptable for display and yet have not been thrown away.
Even though, I am sure that my clients have a different plan about what to do with their unacceptable creation, for me it is always the same. I don’t see any of it as acceptable or not. I see it as an indication of the creativity of its creator. For me it is further proof that there is an artist in everyone.
My job is to remind the creator of his or her creativity and hence, responsibility towards their creation. Then, I gently invite them to release judgment and start to look at their creation from another perspective. Without the need to assess or evaluate, the creator can now see the real image and the hidden truth in their artwork. With practice, they can now look at all of their artwork in the same manner. This practice is what gets us closer to conscious choice.
We can only be consciously choosing, when we wake up from our nightmares of: judgment, martyrdom, victimization, compulsive doing, and trying hard to finish the race or reach an imaginary point in time and space. Conscious choice is born through unconditional love.
We are all searching for love from the outside. How can we be loved if we can’t love ourselves wholly? Are we hoping that our lover won’t see the ugly pictures if we hide them well enough? If we only show the good ones, he will fall in love with us, that is until one day, he happens to come across all the ugly pictures neatly piled away and then off we go on to another search for someone else we can fool into believing that we are just a piece of what we really are.
So, what would you like to do with your previously labeled “unacceptable” creations? Perhaps they get framed and placed somewhere visible to remind you of the rich source of creativity that is within you and does not yet know how to fully express itself through you. Or might they remind you of your potential to love unconditionally pieces of yourself that you have judged to be unpleasant? Can you love all of your creations?
If you are interested in spiritual life coaching to help you on your journey towards unconditional self-love and acceptance, please contact me for a complimentary 30 minute session to determine if spiritual coaching is what you’d like to pursue.