There will be many situations in life that you might find yourself wondering in the words of the Talking Heads........"This is not my beautiful life.......how did I get here??? I have found in my own life, there have been situations within relationships that have developed so slowly that I didn’t even see the shit storm coming. I was so damn busy being flexible and making myself smaller to get along with another that I was unaware that the relationship was out of balance until it was too late. I had been "had"; not only by the other persons agenda but by my own delusions. How could I have made myself smaller, once again? With clay, I can move slowly, releasing control and just sit, for the most part, in the back seat. Clay is easy to trust; life situations are a little trickier. When there is more than one person, there will always be more than one intention or agenda. Most of us meet people where we are - not where they are. It takes time to allow a relationship and our personal motivations to surface. Below are some of the questions that I am beginning to ask myself when dealing with personal relationships. They are a way to give myself clarity, clearing the decks of my delusions and to assist in getting to the truth more quickly.
1. Is this an experience that I am not only learning from but evolving? Not every relationship or situation can be rosy all of the time. A lobster has to be damn irritated by the shell that they are outgrowing before they decide to be vulnerable and shed it for a larger one. It’s wise to figure out whether you are growing and evolving from your present situation. Can you see it as a gift for future relationships? Is so, than persistence may be in order.
2. Is everyone winning? Not just me or the other person - but God and the Universe as well. Well, that’s pretty damn clear. If all parties aren’t winning, time to stop playing. Period. I, personally, want no part in a relationship where there has to be a loser. Leave that to the ball field.
3. Is this experience or relationship making me a better person? One of the greatest lines in the movie, As Good as it Gets, was spoken by Jack Nicholson. He looked at Helen Hunts character and said, "You make me want to be a better man." If a relationship is creating ill will, bitterness, resentment, you may want to look and see inside yourself and ask "Is this the person I am meant to be?" Being around another that inspires you to be a better person every day is a friend worth having.
4. Is the problem mine to fix or is someone laying it at my feet? Manipulation - such a sneaky game. If others can get you to believe that the problem is solely yours, then you will be fixing a problem you don’t really have the answer to. Not a good plan.
5. Am I bringing light to another or onto a situation? The light of one candle can abolish the darkness. If you aren’t the light bringer then look closely at your intentions and motivations. Bringing darkness to another persons life is just plain shitty. Don’t do it.
6. Is this a game of control and suppression or one of liberation and freedom? If all that is happening in a relationship or situation is an attempt to gain control over another person, then you may want to check your motivations. If you don’t experience a sense of freedom and liberation when you are around the other person, or there is no sense of play, is it healthy to have in your life?
7. If it is indeed a shit storm, is it MY shit storm? Be really honest with this one. Step back, take at least 10 deep breaths and get clear about who actually owns this particular storm. It is a rare person who accepts responsibility for their own shit and does something about mucking out the stalls. If it truly isn’t your shit storm, refer to #4.
Now, you may be asking yourself the question, "What in the hell does this have to do with creating art?" Well, here’s the deal - if you fill your life with storms, you will never get to a place of peaceful quiet where you can listen to your Muse. There will be no room for the ethereal, divine moments where the light of authenticity shines through. Yes, please.............more of that :)