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Often times I look back on moments of my life where I struggled. Those moments tend to be filled with tough memories, some of which are too painful to go into detail. With those painful memories comes some regret. Regret for the choices I made that got me into those positions of struggle, and regret for those lives I affected because of those choices.

Being unable to process that regret can be detrimental to moving forward in life. It can stifle growth and lead to a cyclical path of more bad choices leading to more regret and anguish. It leads to complacency, which leads to fear, then ultimately to hate. Hate for oneself and possibly others.

Life is pain. at the same time, life is also pleasure. It can be struggle and hard work, along with success and triumph. Point is, like Frighty & Colonel Mite sang back in 1999, "Life is what you make"! Yes, I made some bad choices along the way. Those choices may have led to regret and struggle. Yet, through that struggle I can also choose to do better now that I understand the magnitude of the mistakes that I've made.

Redemption, along with being a magnificent song by Robert Nester Marley, is a powerful agent of deliverance. To be able to right a wrong or fix what you once broke is at the essence of being human. Understanding that life is and always will be painful is the key to unlocking the pathway towards that atonement, which brings us closer to inner peace.

Pain and struggle are relatively essential to life. How else do you think we got here? Every level of life has its own versions of pain and struggle. from inception we've been fighting battles within our own beings. Struggling to crawl, walk, run...dealing with the pain of failure and loss. If we understood that all these things can and must be used for good, maybe we would be able to go further than ever before.

Art is an expression of self. Whether the inner self or the world around us, art speaks of the human condition. Art is a reflection of us, which makes it our oldest and truest living documentation. It's a library that spans back to the beginning of our species. One full of pain, struggle, fear, joy, happiness, and courage. Wherever one of these expressions are, another is there to counterbalance.

That means, to me at least, that pain and struggle are necessary ingredients to life, and the fullest of my artistic expressions. Owning my struggle, as an artist, through my expressions is the process that creates progress. Owning one's struggles in life leads to making better choices. Because once we know better, it behooves us to do better. Not just for ourselves, for those around us. It's in that realization which lies many of human kinds solutions to the ills we face. It starts and ends with us. All we have to do is OWN OUR STRUGGLE and we can OWN OUR SUCCESS!

Shipwreck Cove Navagio, Zakynthos

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