Brene Brown writes about belonging in her most recent book and shares this quote from Maya Angelou as one that frustrated her for years because of its seemingly obtuse message which reads as some artistic bullshit unless you've become the wilderness yourself and discovered that belonging is not negotiated with the outside world but instead comes from within. As creatives, I believe that we are the soul of humanity and it is our job to experience and to feel. And then, through empathetic artistic expression, we create a work of art which becomes a mirror for each person that interacts with it and it requires empathy in order to truly see what it is saying. In this way, the role of art is to teach and strengthen empathy in all of humanity and to convey truths, experiences, and feelings that cannot be described in mere words or process. In order to take on our mantle, we must first become the wilderness and experience the rejection and loneliness of our calling and find belonging in the midst of loneliness before we can withstand the pain of the world that needs to be felt so that healing can come.
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