The Blank Canvas

I was speaking to a friend who was feeling lost, on a quest seeking self. After I thought about it I realized I believe that your true self is like blank canvas, every life ready to paint on. If you are prepared to recognize yourself this way you take ownership of the canvas as well as the responsibility to paint it. You may also see that in the meantime while you have been growing up and claiming your life/canvas as fully your own (and not that of parents/teachers etc), others have been painting on your canvas. At this point, many people stay stuck in all the wrong of someone else presuming to paint on our canvas. But truthfully, it is only more ticks of the clock passing in which the painter isn’t painting their life. You can, if you like what has been begun, take it from there or you can paint over what has been begun. Some parents are artists and do a beautiful job and others aren’t and still must muddle through.

Another way to look at it is, parents begin with their own money, and bits from grandparents etc to bank money for you until you can legally have your own account. Some who are fearful and without knowledge (hence the fear) will play it as safe as possible with a low interest savings account. Others might invest in bonds as a sensible thing. Others may invest it in other low risk ventures. Then you turn 18 and can make your own decisions. Earn and save your own money. Now, depending on your own knowledge, comfort level, and even values you may agree or disagree with their course of action. You may find that they honestly mistrusted banks and put all your birthday bucks in a mattress then smoked in bed and burned it all up the eve of your 18th birthday. Whether they or you like it or not, they were responsible and like it or not you get what you get. Maybe they were savvy investors and made you a wealthy young woman but you discover all the money was made in dealing illegal weapons to evil despots. Then you have a different drama/story to deal with.

The point is there’s always a story. Although we are blank canvas, one with the universal soup, when we manifest, experience begins painting our canvas. Some believe we agree to the general framework of experiences for the lessons they provide in the handling of them. Regardless, at some point we become cognizant enough to paint with purposeful brushstrokes of our own design. Some start early. Some start late. For some it takes crisis. Some never get it and they continue to the last breath allowing everybody walking by to apply paint. They are lifelong victims. Truthfully, everyone will try to paint on your canvas, even with the most mindful of us. But the mindful will block some, will wipe some off while it’s still wet. Some will paint over when it seems a direction to the painting has emerged unwelcome or wanted. Some will find at the end of long life they are happy with their painting and some will wish they had made changes. But they too applied paint in the best way they could with the skill they had. Sometimes I think of people who purchase the services of a Life Coach as taking art lessons to improve the chances of actually putting on canvas what they intend in their heads.

Here’s the readers digest version.

People fear what they don’t know. One thing you can know is that you will never know all there is to know. Life is a balance of knowing how much is enough to act. Waiting for more info creates inaction. Action without info is hastiness. Ultimately a measure of maturity is being responsible to this balance and it is a personal balance.

Some people paint each square inch in complete detail so the painting emerges like a jigsaw puzzle. I paint in nebulous layers until the details emerge like they are coming into focus. Neither is right or wrong. They are just ways of dancing the path.


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