I have two powerful needs in my life, two basic aspects to my Self if you will.
I desire so much to help others, to make a difference. Audaciously, to change the world.
For the longest time I had a dream to go to Africa and do anything to help the victims of famine. After giving up that dream, it has returned, and mutated. We hope one day, when the Wildflower is old enough, to do voluntary work in Guatemala, Belize, and other countries in need.
Doing such things will fill my heart. I don't want to part from this world without having done something so significant for others.
Along with that desire, is a need, to be creative.
I couldn't be more obvious in the struggle with this dichotomy, than my studies show. A degree in Psychology, and one in Fine Arts. *cue roll eyes*
My heart has flipped back and forth. One side saying, do something worthwhile, be of service. The other saying, chill out and create.
I have discovered that many people find themselves in a similar tug-o-war, albeit different aspects. One half pulling towards what seems the better, moral, right, path, the other pulling towards something that feels self-indulgent. And we are a society of guilt regarding self-indulgence, aren't we? Even those of us who plunge head first into hedonism do so 'in moderation'.
I look at other people and think that as long as they are decent people and following their passion, urge, need, joy.... then that's groovy. Why do I have such high standards for myself?
I told myself that I had to be as eco as possible, as frugal, as media-conscious, as mindful as possible. I had to be crunchy, and crafty, and upcycle everything. Then I look at someone who has devoted their life to, for example, being green, and I see someone who is doing amazing things.... yet they're not doing everything. They're not doing anything towards helping orphaned children, or those suffering from malnutrition in poor countries, nor are they doing a thing about baby seals being clubbed to death for fur, or saving the whales, or writing to companies to protest the sexualisation of our children.... and on and on into infinity...
What I'm getting at, is that we need to find a niche, because the world is too full, too complex, too brimming with both amazingness and suffering. We can't touch it all.
And then we need to find peace with what the world needs from us and with what we need from within ourselves.
I was pondering all this when I happened to read a story involving people living in slums in India... and it got me to thinking about places I have seen around the world. The worst for me has always been the Rio slums. And amongst the poverty, sickness, and pain, I also saw laughter, play, and beauty. Even the very poor attempted to bring beauty into their lives. They don't dismiss a pretty bracelet, a joyful drumbeat, or body make-up as frivolous.
There I am feeling guilt over arty projects because of their frivolousness in comparison to the world's troubles, and those with very little embrace' frivolousness'.
Right now, I have chosen to be at home with the Wildflower. I am learning to accept and find peace with the way I help others right now. And also I am learning to embrace the validity of creativity to me.
Whatever is a soul-need, is, by definition, necessary. It's as complex and as simple as that.
Right now, I'm creating and I'm slowly letting go of perfection and guilt.... it's a process..... and I've found that the visual journal is the perfect medium for this. I cannot get ENOUGH!
I'll be posting my work on my other blog though... where things are fun and shadowy and arty. So if you want to journey along with me, and especially if you want to explore your own arty creativity and share it, do join me there.