Rejection hurts. Nobody I know likes to be rejected, but if you do, become an artist. We are rejected all the time. Usually, I don’t cry when I’m rejected, but today I did . . . for all of one minute. Literally, I gave myself a minute. It seems like I’ve had a lot of rejection lately; today’s news is about the fifth rejection in a row. I was hoping to send out this blog post with news that my work was accepted into “The Best of Watercolor Splash 20” book. Instead of a “congratulations” notification, I was not included on the list of winners, and it hit me like a punch in the gut. Not everything we paint gets into a juried exhibit or publication or sells. I think it’s the running tally of tries and rejections that got to me today. The mean girl inside of me (shadow side) started to go down the path of something like this . . . “You’re such a failure. Your work is no good. Who do you think you are?” You know this voice, too. Everybody has self-doubt, self-criticism, or fear.
I’ve been working very hard at acknowledging what is, and moving on. Looking back only fills me with remorse. However, it’s important to acknowledge the shadow because it serves a purpose. Perhaps my shadow’s purpose today is to keep me humble and/or to force me to do better, try harder. Instead of attaching myself to the shadow, I made the decision (after that crucial minute) to step into the light. Easier said than done, I know. Lucky for me I have a life partner who gives good hugs. We all need someone, even if that someone is your current self and not your old self, to tell us it’s okay to acknowledge the pain but not get stuck there.
These last few weeks of yoga-sculpt training combined with meditation have proven to be valuable to me, especially today. I started a transformation program with a group of other yogis, and I’m “cleansing” myself of all that no longer serves me. This includes old behavior patterns, clothing I don’t wear, items in my home I don’t use, sugar, alcohol, caffeine (I still enjoy the ritual of one cup of java in the morning, not two or three), etc. In a sense, it’s like spring cleaning for the body, mind, and spirit. We all go through periods of growth. So when we “outgrow” something, we need to let it go otherwise it crowds out the space, and there is none left to receive the new.
So this is what I told my shadow: I am not a failure. A failure is someone who gives up trying. I will continue to try. My work is what it is. As long as I keep painting I will continue to improve. And who am I? I’ll tell you who I am. I’m a person who chooses not to attach myself to disappointment, but instead, stand in the light.
If I didn’t see my shadow, I wouldn’t be standing in the light.
To the artists who did get their work published in the Splash book, congratulations! I applaud you and share in your happiness. Your success is my success.
Whatever YOU want to accomplish, please know I am rooting for you. I believe in you, and you are worthy of achieving your dreams. Set those goals high and stand in the light.
My best, Christine