Hate your work? Hate yourself? Hate yourself- hate your work.
Switched on the radio this morning to hear George Thorogood singing ” Who Do You Love?” This after a discussion between my wife and I last night about how to “love oneself” and how so important it is to be ‘ comfortable in one’s own skin’ so to speak. The fear is always that we will be seen as self-centered, arrogant, uncaring and lacking empathy if we love ourselves in any way at all. The strange thing is that if we lack any self love we become exactly that. We become critical of ourselves and others. We feel out of control, miserable. bitter , become prone to temper tantrums and yes even over-indulgent. Over indulgence I think is not caused by self-love but in my opinion it is a compensator for self-hate. Don’t quote me. I’m not a psychologist.
After a life time of believing that putting others first ( talking about talents here -not relationships) and that self abasement- living like some kind of medieval monk was the answer- I now realize one has to be careful of what kind of “putting others first” one practices. If it means thinking others or their talents or art is always better than me or mine then it is the wrong kind of self loathing. This will only lead to an empty soul. It can be a vicious circle. I hate myself so others dislike me. Others dislike me so I hate myself. I am not saying that one should believe the last piece of pie should always be theirs. I do think it is only fair though that we all get some of the mashed potatoes. Whatever happened to “ We were all created equal“? Whatever happened to being made in the image of the Creator?
Perhaps self love Or self loathing is not the answer at all. Perhaps just being plain thankful for the talent and gifts we’ve been each given is a far better attitude and approach.
If you look at your work or art as some kind of failure you are committing a different sin. You are lying to yourself. I once told an artist friend of mine that her art was so much better than mine or that she was a better artist. She quickly and curtly said it’s not about ‘better’!
I know what she meant now. It’s about being thankful for the talent we do have and happy with yourself and your work. It’s knowing you are a part of a greater Creation.
In a way that’s what makes it …should I say…’better’.