Jill Joy – Devotion – oil on canvas – 48×60″ March 25, 2011
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about devotion lately. I had a dream not too long ago in which it was revealed to me that my father had a false devotion to me (he left our family when I was young and I had little contact with him while growing up). He was going through the motions, but not really devoted. In the dream, devotion was represented by the color purple. Purple is also the color of compassion, justice and royalty.
I’ve sought my whole life for a man who would be devoted to me in a a way that would make me feel complete, or at least safe. Lately I’ve been realizing that I am devoted to myself. Which is to say, no matter what happens to me, I am devoted to my happiness, to doing the best I can for myself, to loving myself no matter what, whether I succeed or fail in work, relationships, financial stability, whatever. I’m also devoted to following my own path which often means not meeting a social “obligation” or doing all that is expected of me by others or society or even my boss. Being devoted to myself means being true to myself. Sometimes the external cost can be quite high, but to betray myself is even worse.
As I worked on this today the bottom of this painting seemed to be about the rough and tumble of love and expectations, met and unmet. Desire, longing, disappointment, fulfillment. Devotion placed elsewhere by others when I wish it was placed with me. But at the core, as I realized I am devoted to myself and thus essentially responsible to myself and my talent, illumination developed from the center connecting upwards, connecting me to something higher.
If we are truly each expressions of the divine, then is it not natural we would feel expanded and peaceful as we commit ourselves acting with authenticity? As we devote ourselves to ourselves?