The awakening artist must be ruthless, not only with herself but with others. Once you make your break, you can’t turn around for your buddy who catches his trouser leg on the barbed wire. The best thing you can do for that friend (and he’d tell you this himself, if he really is your friend) is to get over the wall and keep motating. The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne
This has definitely not been a year where I’ve been at my best.
Some of my low experiences this year were shared by other people. For instance, at work when shit hit the fan and my team had to deal with a lot of deadlines, a lot of us were feeling quite stressed out.
When some of my teammates would complain to me, I would commiserate with them. They would tell me what sucked for them, and I would tell them how it sucked for me as well. I did this in the spirit of trying to build a sense of togetherness, that they weren’t alone in feeling this.
What I didn’t see at the time is that in building that sense that they weren’t alone in the suckage, I was sending the message that it was real. Yes, their experience of the suckage was real, but the suckage does not exist in any objective reality. But by commiserating in it, it was suggestive that perhaps the suckage does exist in an objective reality for anyone to observe.
This makes it harder to move forward because now it seems like there’s an objective problem in reality.
I wonder how things would be if I took a different approach.
I mean, I can still acknowledge their experience of things. Their experience is certainly real.
But rather than simply saying I have the same experience, perhaps it would be better if I took it a step further. “I have a similar experience of that, and this is how I’m choosing to move forward.”
Or “I get that, and I think another way of looking at that is this.”
Or “I’ve been struggling with that too. This is how I’m starting to think about it.”
Maybe this would allow me to get back on track for how I aspire to be, and maybe in doing so, it would help others get unstuck as well.