Over the past several days I entertained the haunting whispers of guilt. Guilt from not being with my son as much I used to (when I stayed home instead of working); guilt from not cooking that much (as we’ve been buying premade food recently, running around); guilt from not following up with certain friends. These are the things that get to me. However, I refuse to back down on pursuing my passion. There are different seasons in the journey. Some are busier than others and we need to listen to our bodies and our Creator to decide when to rest more and when to push ourselves. While I certainly struggle with pursuing it at times, deep down I know it is what I need to do. My Creator told me so.
My issue is that I easily point the finger at myself, always expecting more, aware that I can do better. But as I’ve learned over the past couple of years, I will never be perfect; not even close. To expect unreasonable results—treating my mind and body like a machine—is to set myself up for constant failure, triggering a continual cycle of disappointment, fear and eventually, hopelessness. If anyone else even utters a word that I can grab a hold of to inflict more guilt, it is extra ammunition to torture myself with, unbeknownst to the person who made the comment.
Aware of the lies that knock around in my mind, it is clear to which thoughts I must banish, allowing my Creator to help me, give me peace. Once I take this crucial step, guilt begins to melt away, leaving me wondering if it was ever really there in the first place. Thank God for making me aware of this harmful sequence that I experienced constantly for years, so that I am now certain of where I’ve been and where I am today, thankful for His deliverance.
As an artist, how can we be open enough to create freely when riddled with guilt—guilt from taking some time away from our family, work, friends and other activities to pursue our path? We can’t. Guilt must be felt—as giving ourselves permission to feel emotions is vital to an artist and any human being—but then banished, as we recognize its toxic nature and disdain for creativity. We have to remember that guilt, fear, shame—all of it—hate our imaginations because creativity originated from our Creator.
Do you struggle with guilt as you pursue your passion or art? When does it hit you? Why? What do you do to combat it?