The Bible says, “Out of the mouth comes the overflow of the heart.” In context, it’s talking about whether you have a wicked or a righteous heart, which can be determined by what kind of things you say and do to and about people. In other words, if you are King of the Jerks, you can’t blame it on a bad day. You’re an inconsiderate jerk on the outside because you’re an inconsiderate jerk on the inside. End of story. It’s not me, it’s you.
Conversely, kind-hearted people treat others kind-heartedly. You can’t subvert for long what’s really inside you. It will spill over. As an aside, it is entirely possible to change either above scenario. It’s not a set-in-stone sort of deal. A terrible, dark, mean, desperate person can become good-hearted. It simply requires recognizing that problem is not external, but internal. What is in you will come out of you.
That’s why I titled this post as I did, and also reassure you that if you are indeed King of the Jerks reading this, such a high position can be abdicated like any other throne.
So, pulling it all right back out of context, I’m sure that you, like me, sometimes experience a disgusting, sewage-filled overflow of the heart, which makes it incredibly difficult to do much of anything, least of all create something beautiful.
Think about the last time you have felt incredibly angry, disconnected, obligated, trapped or guilt-ridden. Perhaps you have even felt all of those at once? All day at work – your job or your passion – you struggle on one project with little to no appreciable progress. You know you needed to achieve something today, but it just isn’t in you to do so, and you get nothing done. The lack of progress only grows your list of woes and worries. It’s a crippling demonstration of deficiency that can leave you overflowing with a sort of oppressive nothing of internally felt missingness. I would liken it to trying to make an oil painting with a dry brush, or a finely shaded drawing with a broken pencil. Nothing in, nothing out. The result is only frustrating and the pursuit only futile.
It can leave any creative feeling like a mangled mess of machinery, a mere manufacturer of mistakes. When this happens to me, I can not even think of crafting beauty on canvas or paper, because I feel and see no such thing within myself. And so I finish those days with nothing. I struggle mightily and win no ground. I wonder why, in those times, I don’t create something ugly and terrible and expressive of that disconnectedness?
I don’t know. I really don’t. I guess that’s just not in my heart. Not right now. Not yet.
It’s all one journey with 1000 roads, isn’t it?