Put some ART in your heARTbreak
By Patia Braithwaite for BounceBack.com
There is nothing fun about heartbreak. Whether it's divorce, a breakup, or even the loss of a loved one, it's pretty safe to say that separations are hard to process. For some of us, grief involves tears, chocolate, and anger. For others, it's about staying strong and moving on. Regardless of your heartbreak recovery routine, perhaps you can incorporate a little "ART" into your heARTbreak. The BounceBack team has compiled a list of four fearless artists who handled their loss in extraordinary ways. Some of the ways are healthier than others, but, hopefully, these artists will inspire you to artistic action.
1. Henry Miller
This American author of the controversial Tropic of Cancer is quoted as saying that "the best way to get over a woman [or man] is to turn her [or him] into literature." If Miller's provocative books are any indication, Miller had a very passionate love life. He was known for seamlessly blending fact with fiction, and, from his quote, we can learn to channel our grief into creativity.
If you're not a writer, like Miller, do what speaks to you: anything from gardening to dance can inspire and help you heal. Through art, sadness can become something beautiful.
Related: The Breakdown of a Breakup
2. Sophie Calle
After receiving a breakup email from her lover, Sophie Calle did what anyone would do. She sent the email to 107 women -- including a copywriter, a psychiatrist and a lawyer --and asked them to analyze, interpret and respond to the email. She then used the responses in an art exhibit called "Take Care of Yourself." It was an eclectic compilation of video, performance, graphic art and text, all speculating on intention and motivation.
While the exhibit seems naughty (brilliant) and a little mean-spirited, Calle told a reporter from The Guardian about her motivations: "It's the right method," she said. "Turning things to my advantage in order not to suffer from them."
3. Kanye West
Whether you love him or hate him, most people agree that Kanye West is a creative force. Before his famous Taylor Swift faux pas, West was suffering from the loss of his mother and the demise of his relationship with long-term girlfriend, Alexis Phifer. As a result, 808s and Heartbreak, a departure from West's traditional sound, was released. Though different from his usual, West has said that 808s and Heartbreak "was therapeutic."
While hardcore Kanye fans and critics were underwhelmed, Kanye was able to step outside of expectations and express the feelings that were inside. The lesson for us: if we decide to channel our grief into art, try to do so without fear of judgment.
Vincent Van Gogh
4. Vincent Van Gogh
The vivid colors and brush strokes that define Van Gogh's style aren't what he is best known for. If you ask most people what they know about Van Gogh, many will tell you about cutting off a portion of his earlobe and giving it to a prostitute for "safe keeping." While the facts are debatable, Van Gogh's longing and intense passion are both visible in his life and his work. Van Gogh's gesture could be considered less of an effort to bounce back, and more a symptom of breaking down, but one thing is certain - his intensity and rage, the tension between color and darkness are seen in his beautiful and stunning pieces.
So here's the verdict: while Henry Miller serves as an inspiration and Van Gogh serves as a cautionary tale - it's obvious that throughout our process of breaking up and bouncing back, we must find positive ways to channel our emotions. If we're lucky we become better people in the process, and we might even create something beautiful.
Patia Braithwaite is a relationship writer and memoirist living in New York City.
Check out her blog, http://menmyselfandgod.wordpress.com, to see how she's turning her break up blues into a nonfiction book.
BounceBack.com helps people find happiness in the right relationship. If you've been through a breakup, divorce, or just haven't been able to find happiness in your love life, come to BounceBack to tell your story, get community support, and find the confidence and strength you need to move forward. Check out our Facebook page.
Starting Fresh: 6 Tips to Get Over The Past and Find Love Again
When is the "Nice Guy" Enough?
Possible Run-in With the Ex? When to Strut and When to Stay Away
Is Online Dating a Must-Do These Days?
The Perseverance Test: The Importance of Not Giving Up