Monday, May 9, 2011


I remember it so well. It took me a long time to understand it, but now I do. Long ago, something was going on in my life and it made me so crazy, I started going to a therapist. I am not really into the idea of analysis (at least with other people involved). However, I needed to do something at the time because I felt my world had fallen apart and I couldn’t find the glue to put it back together. So, I made the appointment. I went.

I told my story. She “got” me in some weird way. Each week when I would go into the office, she could tell my mood. With me, there is no gray area. Either I am manically giddy or I am doomsday sad. On the sad days, she would always greet me with a question: “What happened………..?”

I would tell her. Then she would ask more questions. Inevitably, I would say something like “I can’t believe this person did this to me! I can’t believe it! I would never do that to them!” She would listen and hold back a smirk. She would always respond “Sheree, THEY are not you and you are not them.” After she said this, I would look at her and try to understand what she meant. I was very young back then. I really didn’t get it. I do now though.

Even though the years have flown by and I still suffer when I am disappointed by the actions of others, I finally understand what she meant. I am a workaholic, Type A personality. I make no apologies for that. I love working and producing stuff. No matter the situation, I have to be putting in 1000% worth of energy and it is always for some kind of good cause. Then when I get done, there is often an anti-climax. I expect a BOOM of response! Instead, I get a meager bump, if that.

The result is I feel stupid for putting so much effort and excitement into something. I feel foolish for making it seem so meaningful. I feel like there is something wrong with me because I cared so much.

WRONG SHEREE! Just like “she” told you: “THEY are not you and you are not them.” If I care so much, want to do the right thing, put time and energy into life, good for me. If others don’t want to do that, it is just fine and dandy. If they don’t see the importance or passion, it is what it is. They are not me and I am not them.

Therefore, the moral of this story is I will be me and you should be you and they can be whoever they want to be.

“Me As You”

Click pic to see detail view
Mixed media

By Sheree Rensel


JafaBrit's Art said...

sometimes it's so hard. Right now for some odd reason I am feeling quite irrelevent? Oh well, I am sure I will get over it, but it is a feeling I have not had for a very very very long time.

Sheree Rensel said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean! I am grappling with some similar "mind trains". There are moments when I even think "What is the point??" However, I cope with this by just doing the work. I guess this is why I have that Ginsberg quote on my blog:
“Well, while I’m here I’ll do the work
and what’s the work?
to ease the pain of living.
Everything else, drunken

Also, I remember the times when I was a teenager. I had no other motivation to make art other than just to MAKE ART. I would hurry home and start working on my OIL paintings. I would finish them and then give them away to my friends. It really wasn't about the product to me. It was all about the process. I still feel that way.
So, I keep working to keep me sane. When I finish a bit of work, I have that same feeling as when I was a teen. I MADE that! Cool! Now I want to make MORE.
That is the only thing that works for me. If I am irrelevant by "ART WORLD" standards, so be it. It is what it is. It doesn't make me sad though. The "ART WORLD" as I see it is kind of ridiculous nowadays. I don't feel like I am missing anything. LOL LOL

JafaBrit's Art said...

thanks sheree :) I needed to hear that.
jafa the RELEVANT ;)

TC said...

I think learning to let go of other people's reactions, especially where art is concerned, is one of the biggest struggles artists face. I really get that "I wouldn't do that to them!" and your shrinks response is brilliant - a collage waiting to happen. I also think this sort of thing is where learning mindfulness comes in, at least for me. I suck at it but if I can be present, in the moment, then that other stuff fades away. HA, easier said than done, no foolin'

Sheree Rensel said...

Everybody has their own interpretations. However, just to clarify, my "disappointments" have never been about other people's reactions to my ART. NEVER. It has always been about other life stuff.

On the contrary, I have never given a flying flip about what people think about my art. Not even one iota of a flip! My art had nothing to do with my stint with the "shrink" as you call her.

Thanks for commenting!