When you paint a picture, perhaps no one will walk by, see your creation, and gaze upon it in awe. Perhaps no one will tell you that it is beautiful, that they see the painstaking detail you took in bringing paint to canvas, that you should keep painting.
When you play a song, perhaps not a soul will stop to listen, or perhaps they will listen as they would listen to elevator music. It may fall upon ears attached to a head that is not prone to feeling or finding meaning in what is sung rather than said, in what is felt in the heart rather than shouted in the streets.
When you write a poem, perhaps its subject will not read it, and perhaps those who do read it will pretend not to understand it.
How many creations have died for all this?
How many paintings are locked inside the artist, for fear of what happens (or what does not happen) after they are channeled through the fingers and brushes? How many songs remain unsung and inside, for fear of being received by no audience? How many poems are unwritten, for fear of being misunderstood?
When you despair, when you feel invisible, perhaps you will not know a living soul to call upon, or you will dare not call upon the ones you do know. For if they cannot tell you that they found meaning in these creations of your heart that so gently but honestly speak for you, how will they be able to help you soothe your pain? How could you ever hope to find a glimmer of home in the ones who do not acknowledge you, who put their own voices and words to your innermost feelings?
What dies inside a man while he waits for validation?
We are human, and we need each other. But we must also forgive each other for the walls most of us have put up when it comes to receiving what is genuine and good. We must forgive those who are no more equipped for dealing with the ills of the heart than we are, for we all apply outdated filters of heartaches from the past to present situations that could unfold so differently, if only we could see with the eyes of God.
By default, it is easier for a man to receive darkness than light, and perhaps this is why your creations seem to fall upon deaf ears and blind eyes.
Because we are so capable of receiving darkness, we jump to conclusions that our creations are unworthy when others fail to verbalize the light they see in us. When we utter words of love that are neither received nor returned, we think that what we said must not have been beautiful, or that something is wrong when we feel so much, or that we are merely being sentimental fools.
How many hearts have broken for this?
It is a needless cycle of pain, driven by pain. The song “Isn’t It a Pity” by George Harrison comes to mind.
An inexplicable force compels me to continue creating and loving, for it has shown me the meaning that lies beyond words and approval. It has shown me that relying on other broken hearts and souls for my own redemption is fruitless, and furthermore, it takes away my power.
I will not wait to love, to sing, to paint, to write.
I will not wait for someone to love me so that I may have permission to love. I will not wait for ardent admirers of my work before I continue creating, for indeed I could be waiting beyond the death of this body. This body longs to create.
This heart longs to hold and be held, but waiting for the latter has become more than I can bear.