|Gregory Waiting (c)2010 Dora Sislian Themelis Pen and Ink|
I'm still moving along in the latest Artist's Way coursework with the book, Walking in This World, by Julia Cameron, albeit very slowly. Some days I read the next chapter, do some tasks, and other days I forget about it altogether. I blew off the morning pages Sunday morning, not because I didn't feel like writing, but because I went to church for Palm Sunday with my family. By the time I realized I didn't write my pages it was late afternoon and time to plan dinner. Too many people were around (my husband and my son!) for me to sit in my favorite spot without having them ask me what I'm doing, what's it about. "Just go mind your own business" doesn't work and having to defend myself gives me stress.
Today I wrote the pages. Afterwards I read chapter 5, Discovering a Sense of Personal Territory: Caretaking vs Sexuality. It's not what you're thinking, ok. It's about the feeling you can't stay away from creativity, the excitement, adventure and even the dangerous quality of wanting to create, and doing it again and again. Well, it's an interesting point. You get the idea. If we, as artists, are asked to "mother" our friends/family/colleages we become desensualized, neutered, and feel used. Our relationships with others can either make or break our relationship with our art. We need that good mirror for our art to flourish.
As I read on there was alot of putting ourselves first talk. Being 'selfish enough' is being 'self protective', as in saying no to invitations and situations that don't serve us. Now things were starting to click about here. I came to a paragraph entitled Energy Debts, and read "any relationship that risks your artist's identity is not self-loving".
Recently I connected with a "Crazymaker" who, for years, I allowed to effectively keep me from my art. I won't go into why I made the connection, but I did. Rather than have all kinds of bad things said about me behind my back I casually connected. Probably won't stop talk from happening, but whatever.
While always praising my creative ability to no end, they may have been jealous of it, and distracted me from it. I let it happen thinking we were good friends, having fun, helping each other through things, but when it comes down to it I wasn't painting or making time for me and my art while they were around.
I realize now that I was not spending my time wisely, didn't have a good mirror in this relationship, and was not authentic to myself. Yeah, this person liked to prop me up and tell me how good an artist I was, but it wasn't real, it was control. I started to say NO and they were put off by it.
Slowly, quietly, I began to step back. Did I really need to hear from them 5 times in a day or each time I logged on to the computer? No. Did I need to get swept up in their drama? No. Was it worth it losing my time to run around with them doing everything but painting? No. They were using me for their own agenda and when I woke up from that fog I began to set boundaries. And I'm a bad person now? I don't think so.
Things with a Crazymaker will never get set to rest, just pushed to the side where it belongs, not in my general vicinity or else the whirlwind of that drama-filled stuff will try to take over again. Why "give someone without scruples, your creative checkbook so they can run willy-nilly spending it all?" I'm not buying that cheap stuff any longer. When you wear Manolo's, there's no going back to PayLess, get it? Ain't happening.
I deserve better than that which I allowed myself to endure for the sake of pseudo friendship. Done, so done.