• shellypamensky

Beloved be my everything

There is great strength that comes from being loved. It’s like a springboard from which you can be positively propelled to safely seek the rest of your life. I think love sets you free. It gives you that base from which you can flourish and reach your highest potential.

As a child my friends and I would contemplate should one marry for love or money? Not entirely politically correct, but not far from the truth either, as not so long ago marriage was purely an economic union and love was sought beyond its borders. I never could emphatically answer that question, but decided my focus would be work and career, rather than marriage and children. I studied very hard, law and business. Even with the best laid plans, life interfered and I found myself married, with 3 children and not having the career I had imagined.

Mixed media collage on canvas, 50'x40"
Beloved be my everything, mixed media collage on canvas, 50"x40"

What I didn’t realise is that deciding what to do is not nearly as important as deciding “who to do it with”. I didn’t consider that actually the most important decision you can make in life is who to share your life with. There is a huge correlation between the quality of your relationships and the quality of your life. Whom you select to partner with really dictates your whole state of wellbeing: emotional, mental, physical and financial. Get this right and your life is a haven, get this wrong and you will find turbulence affecting all aspects of your life.

Nowadays, marriage is no longer for economic purposes only, but rather it encapsulates everything from the sacred to mundane. Love, safety, friendship, spirituality, passion are all sought. In addition God is no longer our soul mate, we even seek transcendence, and elation from our partner. It’s no wonder that so many relationships fail as how can any person really provide for all these expectations, which would previously been met by a wider circle of family, community and church.

I certainly do not have any of the answers and am a student myself. It’s a pity that a bit of relationship common sense cannot be addressed at school and only few are lucky to have had relationship mentors or a key relationship that they can seek to emulate and gain guidance from. After all the home is as, if not more important than the workplace. So for those of us who feel loved in the way that they seek to be loved, they are the lucky few. To be loved, you have to also give love, so loved and beloved go hand in hand.

These were the thoughts I was grappling with when I applied my mind to this simple message : loved. The painting was a process piece, carefully planned, but in the execution problems arose. I guess in the way that love cannot be planned and the process may not always deliver the desired outcome. We all learn from our experiences and we all have a relationship history, which affects the quality of our relationships today. Some of us were loved too much and others too little. We bring all this with us into the relationship. If you want things to work then listen, we don’t always have to be right and we all want to be understood, even if the other does not agree. That’s what my paintings teach me every day, its not all my way, but if I listen to what it’s showing me I can come that much closer to succeeding and being loved by my beloved.

Influences whilst I was working:

Talks: Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFwWvr1YUjA


Thin Aquilo


Fortitude HAEVN


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