Love of anything can replace fear, anger and sadness. This is a lesson I am constantly learning and understanding in many different ways, whether it be through something as serious as death or as silly as losing an image file. I tend to be very disorganized, something I am working on, but still continues to be an issue. I like to think of it as my overactive imagination taking hold and forcing me to do creative things instead of responsible things; my friends and family would simply call it neglect. There we disagree, but I digress…
I created an image of a blue origami crane not too long ago, and accidentally saved over that high-res Photoshop file as a smaller image before I backed it up. Totally, 100%, stupidly my fault. I was upset about it. I wasn’t even sure of what to do, since a gallery had already expressed interest in showing it. It wasn’t just me I had let down. So I broke the news, and everyone moved on without a second thought, and I decided to not let it upset me.
What good is doing what you love if you dwell on the bad? Bad things will happen whether we want them to or not, just as the good will. The only difference from one life to another is how we choose to see those situations. I’ve seen people with almost nothing to live off of smile and laugh as though they had everything; and opposite, I have seen people with everything who are miserable. I like to think of life as an illusion. We make it up as we go, and our reactions to the world shape how we understand the world.
This might seem a bit dramatic for a lost file, but that event simply sparked change in me to live life to a greater degree: to care less about the truly unimportant and to care more about what matters. I made a decision in this instance to stop thinking about how sad I was to lose the picture, and instead create a new one that I love. I thought about recreating the image exactly, and I still might attempt it, but for the moment I was freshly inspired and decided to go a different direction.
I put more story into the new picture, adding a Mother Nature theme and titling the image “Empty Nest” to bring home the idea that we all lose something, and it is our job to see beauty in the darkness. There is always beauty waiting to be discovered, and one could argue that there is always darkness, too. We have this tendency to see the darkness all around us, so if we search for beauty we are always traveling, looking for light, and experiencing all the goodness there is in the world.
Do not push away the darkness; shine a light on it.
These are 5 ways that could help in overcoming adversity:
1. Let yourself feel it…
Let yourself be angry, sad, upset, etc…It is natural and healthy to feel emotions. But don’t allow those negative emotions to define you.
2. What if someone were watching…
React to situations the way you would react if someone you didn’t know were watching. We have a tendency to become complacent in how we react to the world because it becomes routine. But what if you had to make a good impression? How would you react?
3. There is always something out there…
Terrible things happen in this world, a million times worse than losing a silly file. No matter what the situation, you are at the center of it, and it can feel very dramatic. Remember that when you do move on, there will be more to discover and be impassioned by.
4. Channel your emotion…
Learn to see your emotions as inspiration for your art. Turn that emotion into an image, or whatever your artform is, and be inspired by yourself.
5. Know who you want to be…
Write down 5 words that describe the person you want to be in the future. This is something to work toward. How would that person react to the situation?
What are your 5 words?