Learning to live is like learning to draw

This is one of my newest realisations. It has given me a sense of spaciousness and patience with myself. It has given me a sense of excitement and possibility to change my life in ways I would enjoy more.

I was speaking with a friend last week about our current hardships in life (sigh, so good to have good friends to support each other through the tough times!) and I started reflecting on my suffering over the past weeks and what was moving me forward. An image popped in my head as I realised that our growing in awareness through the difficulties life brings us can be seen as learning to draw. Especially around relationships.

Learning to live with awareness, mindfully, is like learning to draw in that it is an exercise in training ourselves to see. To see different aspects of reality and of ourselves and others that we didn't see before, or that we now notice more nuanced aspects of. Seeing differently, seeing more, seeing what was hidden, seeing our preconceptions and biases. Seeing new relationships. I think of drawing a nature scene, or a tree. The possibilities for seeing in a new way seem infinite. Seeing an ever changing present, new each moment.

So it seems in my relationships, especially my close relationships. Through the up and downs, the connections and disconnections, I discover places in me that still need tending to, places that carry old pain, places that are afraid, places that are hesitant. I discover my own biases and my worldview- some of which feels so old and definitely constricting! My old beliefs. And I see how they affect the ways in which I show up.

Self-compassion and patience help me along the way as I take an honest look at myself and discover how to stop being a victim of the events in my life and how to become a full participant, with full responsibility of how I help co-create my relationships and how I choose to show up. Discovering a belief in me and seeing how I play it out is at times shocking or painful, but always freeing. I can choose. I can choose a new belief; I can choose to embody a different set of ideas that create a state of affairs closer to the world I want to live in. I feel exhilarated at the possibilities- and the renewed inner freedom.

"Learning to see" as an approach to life that connects me with immediate patience, self-compassion, eagerness and anticipation about what I might find. I like it as a way of living.


Since my realisation, I feel that I have a renewed commitment to living with more awareness and engaging with my less-liked thoughts and actions. And I am finding more kindness and gentleness towards myself. I love this.

Hoping this is helpful to you. Do let me know if you have any thoughts!


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