I am an artist all of the time, which requires me to have boundaries. Even in my relative obscurity, I’ve experienced what it’s like for people to meet and laud and pedestal me only to demonize me later when I don’t live up to their misguided idolization.

I am not interested in defending or explaining myself; particularly to people who are not open to hearing something other than what they’ve curated to be their version of truth. But I am interested in helping people improve the quality of their lives and relationships.

And I have found that the people with reasonable expectations are usually least likely to become offended when other people don’t live the way they want them to. The most entitled people are typically least aware of the grace they are receiving.

So if you are in relationship with an artist in any capacity, and have been blessed by or benefited from their work . . . their art, their storytelling, their music . . . please remember that it is work. For which we are not often compensated.

Not all artists are performers, so please don’t assume that we love and are energized by sharing the fruit of our work with strangers or even people close to us. That, too, can be work. And for most of us, we are already working in other ways to eat and not be a burden despite the beauty we are bringing into the world . . . your world.

If you find yourself frustrated with an artist in your life, please try to do what the bible asks of all of us . . . be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

Understand that artistry is costly, and have grace with us when we don’t have the capacity to fill your soul or your schedule. We are not meant to.

take heart,
R.

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