January 25, 2017

For the Artistic Ones who are Misunderstood.

We are the moody ones.

We are the tempests, the hurricanes, the maelstrom of emotions—and sometimes, we’re feared for this raw power that has control over us until we let it out.

We are the ones who tend toward perfectionism, and we can be exacting and exhausting.

We can be high-strung and melancholic, and we can use the blood you dripped and turn it into a story because that’s what we do. We squeeze life out of pain and are even inspired by yours.

We’re sorry. We’re not thieves.

It’s our way of trying to get into the heads and hearts of those who confound us…and the world does confound us.

We have to create something, or we’d end up somewhere dark.

We get swept up like we’re all singers in a tragic opera, and we sing our hearts out—even if it’s by typing words on a screen, or putting paint on a canvas, or solving some radical mathematical equation.

We have to put it somewhere and do something good with it.

It may be difficult people to understand, but most of us are good people who just happen to feel everything, whether it’s ours or someone else’s.

We’re empaths, the lot of us.

And that empathy sometimes looks extremely selfish.

Others tell us their pain, and we feel their pain, and that pain gives us pain—so if we don’t do something with it, we end up down in the mud, with dirt under our fingernails, trying to dig ourselves a hole to hide from all the feelings. But that won’t help anyone.

We want honesty. We crave it. It is delicious to speak truth, and it’s intoxicating.

But we can be dangerous if we’re not used to speaking this truth. Our triggers hide like landmines just under our skin, and if we’re reminded of someone else’s lies, the results can be devastating.

Again, we’re sorry.

We’re learning too. We’re learning to use our gifts properly, while other people are learning that truth sets them free. We’re learning to tone it down, while they’re learning to turn it up.

We’ll meet somewhere in the middle.

They—the ones who might not be artistic to the degree that they have to etch the pain into something solid in order to exorcise it—are our greatest teachers, just as we are theirs.

We teach that emotions are not something to run from, but to dance with.

Others are teaching us about a time, a place and a way to harness all that raw power.

We don’t want to have our words hurt people or our actions out of control and instilling fear, but as ungrounded artists, we might do that.

We might be the bringers of pain, because we don’t know what to do with all of it—ours, theirs, the world’s.

So if the children show promise, show emotions, show talent—please let them let it out in dance, on paper, hanging from trees, exploring. Let them make and break friendships. Stay out of their way, and sometimes, maybe stop signing them up for things they absolutely hate, and encourage the things they feel they can’t live without doing.

The only dangerous artists are the ones whose art was never allowed to bloom.

We, the artists who have grown up on this planet, know that there are some who want to push down the artistry because they’re afraid.

Artists are people.

Most of us are huge-hearted, slightly malfunctioning humans until we find our outlet and our mode of healing.

Raising us might be a challenge.

But we artists, we’ve tasted death’s sting in the dark, sleepless nights when the wants of the world didn’t meet our deep longings for an otherworldly kind of connection—the kind that flirts with the mystical. We don’t do the mundane well.

Our longings can be bottomless, but we’ve learned how to swim in the deep end quite well.

However, the endless well of longing can be filled.

Let us create.

Let us feel.

But don’t let our feelings pull you down until you’re drowning—that will devastate us all.

Let us find our way out of the darkness and into the sun.

Let us use the energy of the moon to softly illuminate the words that were choking us, and the words of those around us gleaned from the unspoken secrecy of untapped feelings.

We want to help them—and sometimes, we don’t even know why. They might not even need our helping, but it doesn’t stop us from trying to wake the sleeping world up.

We want to help them find the right words when they see injustice, or when they can’t fight for themselves. We want to take the most perfect photograph, so hearts are filled to overflowing. We want to create the music they will dance to at their celebrations. Maybe we want them to understand our daily life a little bit better too.

And then we can become better balanced, by creating and collectively gathering the joy and the pain and the injustice of the planet, turning it all into art and action that will uplift and move us all.

“I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” ~ Anaïs Nin 


Author: Glynis Barr

Image: Flickr/Johnny Silvercloud

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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