It's just a thought I had the other day, what if Van Gogh went to therapy?
Do you ever think about how the lives of your idols that have passed might have been if they hadn't lived life so hard and fast, or if their lives hadn't been cut short by some tragedy? Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Vincent Van Gogh, many others....
I was thinking about it like this, this is kind of an example or an analogy for my way of thinking. When I was little, I used to love looking through the medical dictionaries that my parents had, especially the sections that had sort of like cellophane, peel-away layers that you could flip through, and it would show the progressions of body parts in layers. Have you seen anything like that before? I found it fascinating as a kid. Maybe this was the start of my love of layers in painting, and the beginnings of my understanding of layers in people, in personalities, layers of spirituality.
There's this thing that I do, I've talked about it before. I imagine, sort of like those transparencies in the medical book, aging or youthfulness in people. I imagine layers of sickness and health. I imagine layers of different lifestyles people could live. I don't know why I do that, or when it started! It's just some kind of habit. I just imagine different things, and I feel what I think fits. I love to imagine the best a person could be, and I have fun telling them what I see, and encouraging them to attain it. It's fun to find a match, for instance, when my vision of someone actually matches the vision they have for themselves, you know? And they tell me, "yeah, that's always something I have wanted to do"!
So, I was thinking about Van Gogh. What if Van Gogh went to therapy? What if he was figured out that he had some kind of food allergy (like me!) and he just really started feeling better, and lived a healthier, fuller life?
I've had these discussions with people before, and yes, I realize that his art may not have been the same if he had been "healthy", but I think his fingerprint would have been the same, and I think it would have been a risk worth taking.
This takes me to my next idea: that there is always a trade-off. I think ultimately, people are not victims. I think they choose the life they want to live, for whatever reason, there may be a trade-off for them. People get what they want. Sometimes, they are what I think of as "awake" in their decisions, and sometimes I think they are "asleep" in their decisions. Being asleep are people who I think are acting out of addiction or past victimization, repeating hurtful behavior, having to re-enact being hurt. That's a funny cycle that is actually not funny to witness.
Once a person wakes up to what they can truly accomplish in this life, and steps out of slavery of addictions and hurt, man, now that is amazing to watch!
Something my Mom said to me recently comes to mind: She said, "Remember Jennifer, that we are spiritual beings that are visiting human experiences".
I do believe that, and that is powerful to me, because there is a choice in it.
The choice is this: How many times must I re-visit certain human experiences of pain?
When I wake up and make a choice, I can step out of that cycle and aim higher.
A choice I'm working on now is to work as an artist.
When I painted at my friend's party last time, the little kids asked me if I was a famous artist, or if I wanted to be a famous artist?
My answer is that I don't want to be a famous artist, but I want to be a working artist, earning my living as an artist. I want the time and money to learn more as an artist. Isn't that what every artist wants? A way to pay the bills, have everything I need and some, (or most!) of what I want for my boys and me.
What if Van Gogh went to therapy? Could he have been healthy, lived longer, had a family, painted more? Could he have been more socially accepted in his time? Would he have wanted that? Was that important to him?
What's important to you?
Do you cling to things that hurt you because you think that they make you, "you"? Are you afraid to let go of those layers and see what's underneath?
Here I am, encouraging you now, to let it all go. Peel the layers. Let go of fear. Go for it!