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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Room to Roam

Structure and even pressure can and are conducive to growth and accomplishment. However, it may also get to a point where it causes stagnation and decline instead. And that can be quite terrible for an artistic spirit.

If you are artistic, particularly introspective and imaginative, you need space and freedom - more so than others may deem it. Not necessarily boundless, but enough to flow and be at ease. Mental, emotional, physical... in all the planes that you're called in.

This is often one of the most arduous challenges for an artist, to be able to claim and exercise their right to have room to roam. Usually, we're born into and/or stumble upon people and situations that place demands on us and they may turn into or seem to be duties that we're obligated to fulfill. Making us "selfish" and "cruel" if we don't. Whether that is really the case or not isn't so simple.

Finding out who you are exactly and what you precisely require isn't a task that can be finished overnight. It can take years. Decades. Of much trial and error or being completely done with what over and over proves not to be for you (anymore or at any point). So it is not surprising that many eventually change course and drastically alter their lives. Or what is worse, lose it.

This is a matter to take seriously. Because while, yes, you must be a responsible person and tend to more than just your own needs and wants, you don't get to do a lot of that if you are severely neglecting yourself. And this is something you must examine and be honest with yourself about.

In my case, the two times my health has been the worst in the sense of leading to crippling depression and suicidal tendencies were when I felt trapped. I could see no end to my suffering. No path I could take that'd give me an exit. And I couldn't bear it. My attempts to progress out of it were actively deterred or even blocked. The time I could put into it, occupied. The energy, zapped. No amount of coping by any means would let me endure for much longer. Then, even if I wasn't taking direct action against myself, I was indifferent about what would happen to me. It is only because I was fortunate to know people who could and would help that I can still be here. Moving closer and closer to what is ideal for me and steering clear of anything that'd again drive me to that state.

Not everyone will get it and that is okay. Only a few may approve. Even fewer would support it. But you must take yourself into consideration even when what you need and want isn't what others believe you do or should - especially if the alternative is looking grim or even potentially lethal. Yet, it doesn't have to be absolutely horrible for you to recognize that your circumstances are detrimental and taking a toll on you. The process out of them is likely to be conflictive and chaotic, but it is something to go through to get to the other side. And once there, you can reassess and reconnect with the parts of it that you can realistically and reasonably handle. If it goes more smoothly than that, then you can gradually take note of what is and isn't manageable for you. But whatever you do, don't let yourself die (figuratively and literally speaking).

All of this is easier said than done. And it can take a while merely to start, let alone be done with it. If you have people close to you that are on your side about improving your situation, that is great. But you can also look into more resources that suit you and your specific concerns to be even less lost and alone in it. 

Eventually, by doing more self-work, you get to where you can accurately pinpoint your limits and set boundaries accordingly so that you neither overextend nor suppress yourself.