‘Hardship No’ – Day 357/365


That expression – ‘it’s a hard no’ – often sounds like it comes from a place of anger or frustration. And on the surface, I guess it does. Rage-y emotions occur when we bubble over to release pressure.⁠
But below the seeming anger is often a lot of layered other stuff. ⁠
This painting was meant to be a cheery snow-laden branch with red mistletoe berries – oozing Christmassy vibes. But often the timing and journeys of our lives don’t give a hoot that this is supposed to be a “jolly season” and difficult stuff arises. Stuff that uses up your reserves. ⁠
After the third attempt – the creative in me cracked and kind of said a big fat ‘f-you’ to all the obligation around Christmas. I know. I know. How very unfestive of me. ⁠
I guess a part of me felt if there were so many areas already bringing up disjointed Christmas feelings, why was I tethering my creative journey to its all-consuming energy too when there were other things that needed my energy more?⁠
So this burst onto the canvas in a little fit of upset. Gingko instead of mistletoe.⁠
Afterwards, I looked up the symbolism of ginkgo leaves. Did you know 4 Gingko trees survived the bombing of Hiroshima? They are now symbols of endurance through hardship. They also symbolise protection due to a fire-resistant sap under their bark and in their leaves.⁠
What am I taking from all of this? That sometimes when we release a ‘hard no’, we’re really saying a ‘hardship no’. ⁠

When there’s too much burning up inside, the best way to protect yourself so you can continue on your personal journey (irrespective of holidays) is to say ‘no’ to that which you have no capacity for. ⁠
Hardship no’s are the ginkgo leaves of the psyche. Use ’em when you need ’em and don’t feel crap for not being super-human. Being human is super enough. x 😌⁠

(artist retains all rights to print reproductions of this painting)
Inspiration image: artist’s own

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Posted on

December 23, 2019