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What If You Could Be BAD? VERY Bad?

After I finish a painting, I put it in a box underneath my bed for safe keeping in date order.

Every several years, I pull those paintings out & look at them. I remember what I was going through when I painted them.

I’m fascinated when I see the paintings that I HATED at the time—the ones I wanted to rip up because they embarrassed me or looked ridiculous or “too dark.”

Because oddly, these are the paintings that pop with the most energy.

I painted that?

I ask myself, forgetting what came through me over the years. Even friends who I’ve shown some of my paintings to will remark, “Who the hell painted THAT?”

It’s not what they would expect from me. (Despite the fact I DID play the role of the Wicked Witch twice when I was an actress.)

Sure, I could worry that I look like some dark, twisted person with a torrid past. But sometimes, allowing ourselves to explore the darkness inside us brings a certain . . . beauty with it.

I’m not judging whether my paintings are beautiful OR dark. But what I can say, is what happens to me INSIDE when I paint them.

I find freedom by giving myself permission to explore everything I am feeling.

Because the more I’m willing to allow ANYTHING to arise, the less it’s hidden in dark crannies. When I allow whatever wants to be seen to reveal itself, it’s released from inside of me.

I’m not advocating that we wallow in darkness. NOR am I saying that what makes us artists of our lives is focusing only on our shadows.

What I AM saying is that, sometimes what we think is “dark” is not necessarily what we believe it to be. It may be scary, sure. Intense, even. But when we meet it head on, we find there is no reason, really to fear it. Now, we are incredibly free!  
 
And THAT is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

What if you let yourself feel anything without JUDGING it?

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be light, happy, perfectly content and all put together, we can stop ourselves from feeling what’s underneath. The belief that we have to be GOOD all the time, can actually cause us suffering.

What if real beauty could be found in all your imperfections—the good, the bad, and even the ugly?

On that note, may you be wickedly wicked this week!

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Lynn Newman