Agony: Extreme physical or mental suffering
I painted this a few days after I painted Visions of Freedom . This was during a trying time for me. This was also my first day of “Sober September” when I made a conscious decision to let go of a habit that didn’t serve me anymore. It was tough. I was struggling with other situations as well at the time. I knew I had two choices. I could allow everything that I was going through break me, which would have been easy. Or I could allow it to build me. I chose the latter and journeyed through the process.
In some of the religions that I’m familiar with, suffering is a part of the human experience that leads to a spiritual awakening. That awakening is followed by a great reward. In the Bible for example, men like Job, Joseph, Daniel, Saul and the Israelites suffered first before they saw God’s promise. Christ suffered before his resurrection took place. Another example is seen in Buddha’s four noble truths that teach on how suffering can lead to enlightenment. To sum those 4 truths up:
- Suffering is part of the human experience, it cannot be avoided
- We must discover why we are suffering
- Suffering can be transformed and healed
- Once you identify the cause of your suffering you must find a path to take to heal
Some people choose religion, therapy, spiritual practice, rehabilitation programs, etc. as their path. While some may choose a combination or all of the above. Everyone’s journey is different.With African spirituality you see the common theme of reconnecting with one’s Divinity through a purification process which entails a degree of suffering across some cultures. With Islam, I’ve observed some people going through a period of great suffering and finding the light through belief and connection to Allah, God.
It’s been through my own pain, and process of suffering that I’ve really been challenged to find God. It’s one thing to grow up in church like I did reciting verses and doing what was considered right simply because I was told to do so. It’s been another to really develop a personal relationship with God and gain an inner-standing of truth. In doing that, I have been finding freedom. No coincidence that I painted “Agony” 4 days after “Visions of Freedom”. God showed me the vision for both freedom and Freedom but let me know shortly after that my reward wouldn’t come easy. I’m keeping this in mind as I’m reflecting on the past 9 months and preparing for the temporary suffering that comes with giving birth as I get ready to give birth to my daughter this month, Freedom Elizabeth.
If you bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will be your salvation. If you do not bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will destroy you.-The Gnostic Gospels
To view “Agony”, visit my Art Gallery