This painting presents the feeling of judgment and addiction.
Many people who don’t know the value of their worth are often very insecure and lack confidence. Speaking from experience, before I began therapy I was definitely a people’s pleaser and cared what others thought of me. I had no confidence in what I did. I set no boundaries on people who walked over me due to the fear of losing them. I truly cared what strangers would think of me, from the way I dressed, to the type of art I would make. That mindset kept me in a constant state of stress, frustration and unhappiness.
Oftentimes when we experience those unwanted feelings we try to suppress them. I would suppress my feelings and emotions by simply not talking about them. I would shove everything deep inside until my body could no longer take it and it would cause an explosion. I would take all the anger and frustration out on whoever pushed my last nerve. It didn’t matter if they were a stranger or someone I truly cared about. I wouldn’t know when it was going to happen, I wasn’t even aware that I was doing it until my therapist pointed it out.
Due to my suppression of emotions I lost many people I cared about. Eventually I learned that just the action of simply sitting with whatever emotion I was feeling would help me tremendously. There's many healthy coping mechanisms that I use now to help me navigate through my feelings. I’ve mentioned in my first blog that no emotion is “good” or “bad”, an emotion is simply a natural instinctive state of mind.
Unfortunately for others, suppressing their emotions isn’t enough so they turn to substances that allow them to “numb” them. In this painting you can see 3 common addictions, nicotine, alcohol, and painkillers. Many people judge others for their addictions but they never bother to hear the story behind it. It's hard to understand the reasons why people do what they do but lecturing them is just a slap in the face. What they truly need is guidance and support.
Once you pick up a bad habit it is very hard to set it down and I'm not just talking about drugs. Sometimes it isn’t even a physical addiction, sometimes it’s a negative habit. Common sabotaging habits can be perfectionism, codependency, social media, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition and so on. Oftentimes we don’t even realize the harm we are causing in our own lifes. What I do know is that everybody struggles with at least one negative habit, some people are just better at hiding it than others.
One thing I struggle to understand is the judgment from others. I get we are all humans and it's a natural instinct but do we really have to express it outloud? We all struggle in our own ways so why kick people to the curb when they are already at their lowest? The eyes in the painting represent the judgment. The drip of the eyes represents that eventually the judgment will wash and fade away, it truly does get better over time. The two windows were a twist of creativity. They both represent an escape. Off to the left is the escape into my Enchanted Forest painting and off to the right is the escape into my Mexican Butterflies painting, both in which you do have to overcome an addiction.
I know it is easier said than done but my best advice to you is to stop giving a f*ck what others think. People are going to judge you regardless, like I mentioned, it's human nature. You will be judged if you make a horrible mistake or if your favorite color is pink. Judgment from others is something we simply cannot control. What we can control is the way we see and value ourselves. It is very easy to let others determine our worth due to our own personal insecurities but changing your mindset and realizing that YOU are in control will change your life.
F*ck what strangers think, f*ck what your friends think, f*ck what your parents think, f*ck what ANYBODY thinks. Strangers truly do not care about you, they have no idea you exist. Your friends should love you for who you are, if they don't then it's time to find new ones. Your family is in a way, forced to love you, you didn’t choose them and they didn’t choose you. At the end of the day you only have yourself. Learn your value and worth and do not let others get away with treating you with any less. Whoever walks out on you was not meant to be in your life. It is better to be alone and happy than to be surrounded and miserable. It is not easy to do but it is also not impossible. Good things take time and you are definitely worth every second of it.