This is the canvas I created last night in a guided painting class. I love how abstract art reveals not only what is on the painter's mind; their emotions and experiences but also what is on the viewer's mind. We had fun interpreting each other's paintings and what certain design choices signified about people's personality and viewpoints. I believe painting can be a wonderful form of self-care. Some psychotherapists use art as a way for their clients who have trouble expressing their emotion verbally, to tell a story on canvas.
I intended the sun to signify that it rises and sets for everyone, shines upon all of humanity and is a symbol of unconditional love. It provides warmth and comfort regardless of age, background, culture or class. It reminds me of the poem by Hafiz:
"Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.”
The circles are to show that we are all connected, what happens to one person affects the collective consciousness, and in turn affects us all. I believe that holding good thoughts towards someone you have never met, sending them gratitude for something they gave to you will positively affect them.
Separation based on borders, languages and demographics are an illusion that perpetuate inequity, power abuses and indifference that leads to one life being valued more than another. The Venn diagram shows that we have our differences but we share things in common, such as the desire to be loved and to love, to be accepted for who we really are, and to be happy. When we focus on what unites us, we view each other as equals. We can work together towards mutually beneficial goals that make all of us winners instead of some gaining at the expense of others.
We are all threads in the web of life; forever interconnected and interdependent. All the intentions and actions you send to the world have a reverberating effect that you may not see or understand at the time but will in some way return to you.
Words have so much power. When people feel that you can truly see and hear them, that is where transformation begins. I genuinely believe changing your personal narrative can change your life. Your words may give that gentle encouragement someone needs to keep persevering for a brighter future. Sometimes all you have is hope that things will be better tomorrow. Societal conditioning suggests that people in disadvantaged positions made a series of bad choices in life which lead them into the circumstances they are in now. However, systemic inequities based on demographics and disabilities are many times beyond the understanding of people who make important decisions in those areas. This usually leads to a lack of empathy, validation and adequate material support within the system that is supposed to be designed to help people who need it. It can lead to feelings of helplessness that keep people trapped in a self-defeating cycle that influences generations.
I wonder how many choices I would have had if I grew up like someone less privileged; raised in their dysfunctional families, exposed to their adverse life experiences, their toxic or abusive relationships and their lack of money or opportunities? You learn what is normal by observing those around you growing up; the values, thoughts, belief systems and expectations of life are unconsciously adopted regardless of how inefficient or detrimental they are. It may take a long time to replace this with healthier patterns.
If I catch myself in a moment of judgement, I remember that what appears to be choices are sometimes not really choices. People generally do the best they can with what life gives to them. This passage is a thoughtful reminder to nurture the hopes and dreams of those who are going through times of difficulty. It doesn't matter what happened in the past because it is never too late to change. I will always be grateful to those who saw my potential in my times of testing. They believed in me and who I could become even when very little progress was being made externally. They jolted me out of believing the harsh words of my critics, middle aged people who should have known better but nonetheless were unrelenting in attempting to push me down. The kind words of my supporters still stay with me to this day. With so much harshness in the world, people who feel broken at times in their life need to know that these difficulties only make their stories more inspiring in the end.
Psychotherapeutic services in Peel region