Persistence, Perseverance, and Grit
Author: Andrew Kaminski
I've always admired the person who can get up at 5 am, every single day. Yesterday has been painted, and sold. It's not coming back. At least not until we develop time travel. Let's start anew. Today is today. And at 5 am, it's filled with possibilities.
A little bit about my story. As I feel it IS important to share where I've come from. To know where you've come from, is to recognize how far you've come. Whether for good or bad. You've come far. And that must be recognized.
I'd say I came from a place of disorganization. Of spreading myself too thin. I'd start so many, many things. Would I finish everything. No. And then, I'd start something special. I'd get super excited. And then, I'd lose interest. You must recognize this. You must recognize your past patterning. Why? You don't have to dwell on your past. But every so often, you must realize where you are today, and where you are heading. It's ok to be conscious of your life. It's a good thing to be conscious of what moments have built you.
Art was the antidote to this lack of confidence. My lack of confidence came from not following through with the things that I once cared for. To start something and to not finish it causes depression. As I understand. BUT. To finish a thing creates a feeling of peace. Unmatched by any beginning shine. The act of completion beats the allure of the "newest thing."
So art became the antidote. How was art the answer? Because I could begin to complete what I set out to do - in a picture. A picture is contained. It is not ambiguous. It is literally in the form of a square, a rectangle. On a canvas. A piece of paper. A mind like mine, and I imagine yours too, needs to have a little ... control.
I realized that we cannot control everything. There is little we control outside of ourselves. We can't control the weather. We can't control the planetary alignments. We can't control what has happened in the past. As I'm writing this, I start to think - but humans can control the weather. We can control the physical world. We often have to work together, and borrow machinery from each other... wait a second! We CAN control a lot in our physical environment.
Still though - we cannot control what has happened already. That must be the pertinent point to be made. What is done is done, and we must allow what is done to be in the past. Let the dead bury the dead.
That really allows a major weight to be lifted though - wouldn't you agree? To admit to ourselves that what has happened in the past is no longer ours to decide. We can only move forward. And that is where persistence comes in.
Only when we accept the things we cannot change - the past, can we take a step into the here and the now, and consider what kind of future we would like to have. Are you holding on though? What are you holding on to? We must recognize what is in our system in order to begin the process of building something new. If our tools and instruments are not maintained, and kept in a good status, we have little chance of persisting. The sludge of our old tools not being clean, operating on our vehicle will only make matters worse.
So, let's maintain this metaphor of instruments. Of cleaning your instruments. Of making sure you remove the sludge from your wrench. Address the trauma that has been imbedded in there. Remove the weight. So you can be light again. And when you move forward, you can move forward with a lasting persistence. You can finally allow your grit to be uninterrupted. You can embody a clear life. A solid life.
In fact, I would even testify that it requires persistence, perseverance, and grit to remove all the sludge on your instruments. To breathe into the act of forgiving yourself. To recognize every day what you are grateful for. Will there be distractions? Yes. But notice the power in the word "distractions." To name something is to take its power away. Any time we name anything, we become more aware. We build a consciousness around whatever it is we grapple with.
So, that's what I have done. I have noticed when there is a distraction in my environment. In my social life. In my studies. In my work. With laser focus, I zoom in on that distraction, and I call it out for what it is. I say HEY! That's a distraction! I say, "I don't need you!" To that distraction. And I move forward with the antithesis to distraction - to what builds me. To what keeps me focused. To what puts me in my best state. My best mind. My creative mind.
And you know what? When I do that. When I point out a distraction for what it is - I feel free. I take back my control. I take back my power. I become more conscious of what is in my environment. My consciousness expands.
Consciousness itself is persistent. That which is aware wants to expand. That which is aware of itself, wants so very much - to be all that it can be. Isn't consciousness fascinating? That which recognizes itself. Technically speaking, consciousness is the greatest force possible. On a side note - wouldn't AI, or machines that think for humans remove this level of consciousness temporarily? Wouldn't AI be the thinking force, and humans, with their vessel of consciousness holding within one body, if they rely on that AI, shrink?
Can't help but enjoy some side notes. Persistence though, is to finish this blog post. To stay on the topic of persistence, perseverance, and grit. To remain steadfast in what it is I am doing. To finish it, like I said before. To complete it. To arrive at an act of completion, because that feels incredibly good.
Metropolis, color pencil on paper, by Andrew Kaminski
This drawing for instance - it was very much about the process, about filling in every last square inch. Just to prove to myself that I could. In reality, I suppose we are not supposed to fill in every square inch. We need to make room for others. We need to share. And share we must.
However, when I'm drawing, I want to fill it all in. I want every last inch to be filled with everything on my mind. I want to connect all the dots, and I want it all to be ... complete! Utterly complete. With a finality to it.
That's why I love drawing. That's why I love painting. At least one of the reasons. Because I do not have any limitations. I am limitless! Well - the limitation would be the material, but do you know what I mean? My mind. My heart. It can just pour onto the paper. It can fill it all. And that feels so good. So free.
When I was younger, I had an especially hard time with authority. I didn't want to be contained. I found containment to be oppressive. I found conformity to be insulting. I wanted to be everywhere. All at once. When I was forced to be confined. To obey the rules. To stay in line. God. It went against everything I believed. Everything I'd stand for. I wanted my energy to be free. To flow into every crevice of every world. I felt. Rather, I IDENTIFIED. As consciousness. As all pervasive consciousness. Not just in a metaphorical way. Not just in a spiritual way. In a physical way. I didn't see the point of separation. Of privacy. Of us vs them. I felt - no. I am all. You are all. We are all. We are one. And therefore, rules aggravated me to no end. Authority aggravated me to no end. And I paid for it. Dearly. I did.
When you beat your head against the wall so many times, you finally get knocked down. I started to realize that these are not just rules. They are rhythms. These are patterns. And I love patterns. I love rhythm. Rhythms help allow the beauty of the world to be expressed. Infinite love is abstract until... Until it finds its form. When it finds its form, it can be channelled. We did not come here on accident. We are not random. We are not obsolete. The universe has created us for a purpose. That purpose is to take that infinite and unattainable love, and hold it. To share it. To marvel at it together. And when tragedy strikes. When pain comes. Know this - It is a container for that love. The pain is the egg shell that holds the yoke of the real.
I believe this. I believe this with ever fiber of my being. I believe this as every fiber of my being. Because every cell in my body. Every cell in your body is imbued with this "love" stuff. This agape love. Love for all things. For all conditions. For every form. It is in you now. It is movement itself. And when you feel things are still. They are not. They are holding a resting love.
I leave you with a quote:
"You can't blame gravity for falling in love."