I have been an artist all my life and over the years have often had trouble trying to balance my life as an artist with my love life. I sometimes feel that it is more important to finish a creative project than it is to maintain a romantic relationship with someone. I want to do the best I can, creatively, but I don’t want to hurt people if and when the artwork comes first. How should I handle this?
The life of an artist is never simple. Many painters, writers, and poets were quite strange people with unusual lives and odd habits. The mind of an artist is complicated, and may heaven help any heart who comes across our histrionic existence. Having said that, it is clear that you have established certain needs, boundaries, and limits for yourself as a person. This is a good start. You know that you need time alone (many artists do), and you need a partner who will not interrupt your creative flow, and who will certainly not create tension in the relationship over your natural artistic inclinations.
In any romantic relationship, its important to be up-front about these limitations and needs while not alienating your partner. Try to be as specific as possible about the kinds of scenarios that may come up, and how you would like them handled by both parties. Also, ask yourself if you are making promises you cannot keep. Don’t promise to take your lover out to dinner and a movie on Friday night if you know deep down that you’ll want to spend the evening splattering paint across a canvas or standing on your head while reading E.E. Cummings. Consequently, make sure you make time for your relationship as an equal priority to your artistic goals. If you are busy sculpting a masterpiece all weekend, make sure you reward your lover who gave you the space and energy to do so by taking her out for that dinner and a movie on another evening soon after, and make sure you give her your full attention during that time. He or she has been patiently awaiting and respecting your time, so show respect in return.
Relationships are difficult to begin with, so there’s no easy answers. Everyone’s relationship and dynamic therein is unique. What one man needs is a bother to another man. What one woman likes is despised by another. The best way to handle this is to keep lines of communication open, discuss what your needs are, and listen to the needs of your lover. Find ways to compromise. Find ways to share.
While I wish I could give you additional advice for your specific situation, I turn to the Tarot cards for further insight. As I meditate on your situation, I am noticing that no matter how many times I shuffle the cards, they do not seem “right”. I can only sense that I am having trouble determining the true nature of your issue, or that any answers I can give through the Tarot will only scratch the surface. In any case, I hope these three cards I’ve finally pulled through great pleading with the Goddess are helpful…
The first card is ‘Seven of Cups‘ – indicating that you should consider doing some real soul-searching, and commune with a higher spirit to ask for guidance in this situation. In this card, the questioner admits that she is merely mortal, not a god, and that she indeed has limited view of a situation as a mortal being. Take time to meditate, reflect, and PRAY for answers to your situation. That is the first step.
Second is the card of ‘Strength‘. This advises you to tame the lion-beast with tenderness, not brutality or force. As the old colloquial saying goes, “you attract more bees with honey than vinegar.” Gentleness will win, not force. Befriend the beast instead of making it your adversary.
Third, the card is ‘Seven of Wands‘. Another ‘7’, which is a number of transformation and evolution. The card here implies a certain scene we may have all come across at one point: internal fighting. You’re on the same team, yet you feel you’re competing. It is like friends gathered together, intoxicated at a party on the beach with a bonfire blazing one night, and then a fight breaks out among them. Are they enemies? No. Are they arguing over a battle of wills? Yes. While you must still value your competitive instinct and creative ambition, remember that the person you are fighting with is not your enemy.
I wish you great success with your artistic goals, and with your future relationships which I hope are happy, healthy, and balanced.