Evolution through relationships (romantic, family, friends, can all can be our teachers). If we are willing to see, that the roles they play can bring awareness to what we can heal…in order to to step back into our power, inner knowing, self love and acceptance, a return to wholeness within.
“The greatest defeat is not the end of a relationship, it’s the unwillingness to learn from it. Most love relationships end, yet the opportunities for growth live on. We have been conditioned to believe that endings are failures, but they are not. At this stage of human development, it’s all we can do to manage our own issues, let alone merge happily with another.
We still have so much to learn about how to sustain love. The real victory is growing through the experience, clarifying and healing our issues, converting the unresolved material into the transformation at its heart. Relational success is not a tangible outcome- it’s a process of awakening. If the experience grew you, if it prepared you for a more heartfelt and awakened life, it was a true victory.”
— Jeff Brow
“When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them, as if their reason had left them.” — Willa Cather
The masculine has become important in society today simply because we have made the survival process paramount in our lives. Economics has become the driving force, not aesthetics, or dance, or music, or love, or divinity, or meditation. When economics rules, when the subtler and finer aspects of life are ignored, the masculine will naturally dominate. If the feminine is lost, everything that is beautiful, gentle, non-competitive and nurturing in life will vanish. The fire of life will be lost forever. This is a terrible loss, not easy to reclaim.
I grew up with four brothers and a father who made a place for himself in the world of ambition, money and success on America’s terms. Except for my sister, none of us boys had that practical survival gumption our father did. Our mother was an artist who came from a musical family, so art and music was ever-present in the house. Our father was confounded and incredulous that any of his sons wanted to go in the direction of the arts. It was simply inconceivable, not to be tolerated. That was for sissies.
I may have decided to paint just to assert myself against that headwind, although my first love was language and ideas. I developed a love for the practice of art making, but my affinity for language came more naturally. I just choose sides in the war between aesthetics and survival as it was presented to me.
It’s common for young people to imagine they can make a life from the creation of beauty, but to arrive at a point not long after their training ends when they get tired of starving. It’s one thing to starve alone and another to see your children starve. Keeping your inspiration alive in a society that doesn’t support your love of beauty adds a burden few can sustain.
Can you make a living doing that? is a question we artists hear a lot. In Europe, I met artists who received a stipend from their government simply because art was considered essential. America perpetuates a frontier mentality. Survival and the smarts to “do well” is admired above all else, even when it’s obscene wealth and others are starving. Survival of the fittest is our religion. Art is practically invisible in that ethos.
It’s interesting how our obsession with survival has such cruel effects on so many people. We have become inured to the increasing numbers of homeless people who have fallen out of society so that they have to beg and sleep on the street. For them survival is a constant preoccupation. They present to the world a picture of a stupidly cruel belief system.
If we were kind people, would we be capable of creating such a system? We are not only being cruel to others, we are visiting that cruelty upon ourselves and our friends and family.
It’s unthinking cruelty and we need to grow beyond it. We need to imagine a more beautiful and kinder world. It’s not too late.