You Have to Face It

I’m sorry, but I have some very bad news for you.  This is news that most people, myself included, are prone to go into stubborn, pig-headed, fear-driven denial about, but none of the hiding of head in sand changes the facts.  There is no alternative other than to take this news on board and take the rational next step.

The news is this: there are certain situations that you will encounter, both as an artist and as a human being that you will simply have to face and deal with.  Dealing with many of these situations means going against tradition, your upbringing, everything you were told, everything you believe, everything your society tells you to believe, everything you want to be true and facing every emotional confrontation you never wished to have with yourself.  There really is no alternative, though.  If you don’t face up to it, you’ll stagnate, or worse – things will go to hell, due to your inaction.

There are countless situations like this.  Sometimes it’s the loss of one’s health.  At other times, one’s living circumstances change drastically.  In artistic practice, it might mean facing up to some uncomfortable things about your art, or the business you have created around your art.  As a human being, it might be facing the fact that all the things we want for ourselves spell the destruction of the planet and death for all of us.  You might have to give up on illusions and fantasies, like endless economic growth, expanding geometrically, or finally accept that leaders won’t get us out of the mess.  We can’t stay passive and there is no such thing as an innocent bystander.

Everybody would rather stay inside a daydream, or avoid the unavoidable conclusions.  We would rather fiddle, while Rome burns, than try to put out the fires.  We prefer our comfortable fictions to uncomfortable realities.  In short, we’d rather go on doing something stupid and self-destructive, than take on the task of overturning everything we’ve built up and stopping the doomsday mechanisms of our own making.

The problem is, when crunch time comes, you only get one chance to face it and deal with it.  If you don’t do that, when you have to, you’ll blow it.  Permanently.  No way back.

You’ll know when you’re at the crossroads, because your procrastination and denial activities, which intuitively take over, will be working at full speed.  You will know that you are doing everything other than facing the thing and dealing with it.

Given that there is no choice, then there is only one possible, viable next step.  You have to face it.  You must.  When you face it, the way you deal with it becomes clear.

As people and as a species, there is a long list of things we are failing to face and deal with.  Sometimes, we think that doing more of what already hasn’t worked will provide the solution.  We know that to be nonsense.  We know, intuitively, that a creative, revolutionary idea is all that can possibly work.  Adhering to the old solutions that have not solved the problems we must face is just another form of denial and procrastination.  We know that won’t work.  Yet we cling to it.

So the question remains:  If we have to face it, will we face it?

If so, when?  Will that be in time?

About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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2 Responses to You Have to Face It

  1. trellabrazil says:

    Thank you for this. I am reminded of frogs in warm water, and as the water gets warmer,they just enjoy it and do nothing–before they know it the water cooks them to death. We can’t let the warm comfort of our distractions draw us from the truth, what we know needs to be done or faced or transcended by radical changes in ourselves.

    • I think all change starts from within. It’s hard to discern the truth, when all you have been fed and told obscures it deliberately, but find the truth we must. The tragedy, for me, is that so many that do harm do not and will not ever face the truth about their own behaviour and it’s contribution to the general worsening of the human condition. I find that sad and alarming in equal measure and have no idea what to do about it. However, if anybody that reads this faces just one thing that they know they need to face, I think things will be better, even if by tiny increments. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate you setting your thoughts down here and I am glad my piece resonated with you.

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