What’s Best? You could win a prize!

No. 70 #ShePersisted

There was a time when it was easy (read unconsciously acceptable) for me to
believe others knew what was best for me.

I didn’t know my own heart.

With time, patience, deep, deep inner listening, I have come to recognize
what my heart knows.

The challenge is always, will I listen? Will I heed its calling? Or, will I
succumb to the pressures of the world ‘out there’ and listen to someone else’s
heartbeat telling me how to dance?

The original quote for No. 70 in this #ShePersisted Series painting was,

They said, You need to
back off and give us a break.
We’re doing our best.
She said, doing what you think
is best for me breaks my heart. You need
to back off so I can do what is
best for me.

When I showed C.C. the original version his comment was, “Oh. That seems a little aggressive.”

“Which part?” I asked. “What they said or her response?”

“What she said,” he replied.

“Isn’t that interesting,” I replied. “She’s just repeating his words back yet you think her words are aggressive.”

C.C. is a wise man. When he recognizes I’m going in for ‘the kill’ he knows it’s time to hear me. Deeply. He smiled. Nodded his head and said, “Hmmm… Interesting observation.”

Fact is. I don’t believe C.C. would be alone in his observations. I think many of us might think what she said was aggressive without realizing our biases. Even when I first wrote the quote I felt a tingle of discomfort as my critter-mind whispered, “She’s coming on a bit strong Louise.”

And here’s the thing. The #ShePersisted Series isn’t about ‘hitting people over the head with a bludgeon of truth’. It’s about cracking open minds and hearts, even just a little bit, with the obvious clarity of #ShePersisted truths so that new ways, new norms can blossom.

Just because ‘a body of power’ has always dictated someone/some cultural group/some body of colour behave in a certain way, does not mean it’s right or that it works. And, just because a body of power declares they know best how to fix it doesn’t mean that’s what needs to happen.

A body of power only holds power because historically, they’ve claimed it, owned it, preached it, ruled over it.

Shifting that body of power, or expanding it to include everyone, as the case may be, isn’t an easy task. It’s hard to give up what you’ve always had.

But, to create real and lasting change, to accede self-efficacy to the disadvantaged and disenfranchised requires a realization that ‘we’ don’t know what is best for others. Only they know what is on their heart, what they need, what they can do to create better in their world. For change to happen, an existing body of power must let go of believing they know best and let those whose lives have been limited by the rules of prevailing bodies of power for generation after generation find their own paths.

Which brings me to why I change the original version of this painting.

Firstly, I was very unhappy with her face. Faces are hard to paint — for me. I originally created this painting on Friday. I let it sit all weekend until late yesterday when I finally decided I needed to go back in and ‘fix’ it.

In the fixing, I reflected back on C.C.’s comments and decided he had a point. Being aggressive isn’t my style, nor the purpose of the Series. Being assertive. Making my point without name calling or naming names is also part of my vision for the Series.

So… I reworked her face (I’m much happier now). And, I reworked the quote.

And that’s where you come in. I am torn between the two quotes. I’d love your help in figuring out which one works best — sometimes my heart needs a little help to find its right beat.

So… please. Give me your feedback. What do you think? Anyone who comments (either here or on the thread on Facebook) will have their name put in a draw for… The prize… an 11 x 14″ print of No. 11 of the Series OR – 2 cards from available cards on my Etsy Shop – DareBoldlyArt (Winner’s preference.)

11 x 14″ print of No. 11 #ShePersisted Series

Thanks everyone for your help!

29 thoughts on “What’s Best? You could win a prize!

  1. I’ve observed there are two kinds of assertive people. The obnoxious ones who bully, push, and drive hard. Some of them are just obnoxious, and some are forces of nature. The other kind tends to be clear-headed, never looking around for approval – but always conscious of their engagement of the troops they lead. For example, Jason Kenney is the first kind. Peter Lougheed was the second kind. See the difference?

    Liked by 2 people

      • Elgie,

        I don’t have a preference for either one – but from reading your post, methinks there is a third version within you … not a hybrid or a combo, but something fresh that hits the issue and is less constructed for effect, or for voting – just the genuine you. Only one person needs to vote – YOU!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Monday morning challenge, I like! I harken back to the days of my first managerial promotion when I was given some “sage” advice by a superior who was my mentor right through to my retirement. Men are assertive, women are aggressive. That has stuck with me even through stints on boards. And today I am living it again, hopefully my next board election HE will be gone.
    Have times changed, not really. You ask to pick a quote – choose Quote A. It is more direct, to the point. Quote B is woman trying to appease man, in my humble opinion.
    I end on a somewhat distressful note – some women managers are worse than the men they replaced! Go figure.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve heard that before too Iwona and it always distressed me – that sentiment was actually underlying this quote when I created it. Thanks my friend — and yes, some women managers can be very challenging! ❤


  3. Quote A sounds like you and is more reasonable while Quote B reads rather harsh as “Back off” is not in keeping with all of your previous quotes in the series.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gees this is a tough one Louise: A or B? I’m going to have to go with the lessor known, option C. I’ll get to C in a minute….
    For me, choosing option A would be the ‘easiest ’ as the tone embodies the external voice of grace, that I associate with you. And yet choosing option B feels “bolder” to me and thus more authentic but yes also more controversial.
    Sometimes hearts break slowly, unseen to the naked eye. Weakening over time with one crack layered on another, until all the fractures accumulate and the heart breaks. But sometimes hearts don’t break they appear to suddenly explode. When the heart lives in a closed system with no “acceptable release valve”, its internal pressure builds and builds until it bursts. Option B feels like an authentic burst to me. Maybe option B would be more “ acceptable “ to some people if it was not viewed from the lens of the aggression/assertiveness continuum but rather it was viewed from the lens of the self-defense continuum. How much force is “politically acceptable” when you are safe guarding, protecting, defending or fighting for your life?
    Which brings me to option C. The one you have within you that has capacity for A and B to co exists.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As always Diana, your cogent, inspired response expands both the perspective and the opportunity to create better.

      And I agree — the aggression/assertive lens does impact how it is viewed — shifting lenes to the self-defense continuum definitely shifts the tone/message — Interesting, it was C.C.’s lens that created the opening for this conversation — which I think is rich and valuable!

      And yes, there is always an Option C — interesting prspectivve.

      BTW — your comments on heart’s breaking vs bursting is brilliant! Thank you my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dearest friend;
    Firstly, I really don’t like the women’s face, neither the first nor second. The 1st is terribly aggressive, sort of The Devil wears Prada, the 2nd is far too subdued – she looks like a really downbeat woman – bent over, unhappy, hair unkempt…
    Then the quotes: I’m absolutely with Mark – I feel there is a 3rd short poem waiting to get out. If I must choose, it would be #1 (but with an ‘e’ in SHE), but I am sure if YOU don’t quite know whether it’s a keeper or a goner it’s because you’re not completely satisfied.
    I’m usually absolutely and unreservedly delighted by your work – these two leave me not very happy. Which doesn’t mean that I’d LOVE to win any prize of your draw! And as I’m not doing FB I only have this one chance, haven’t I?! 🙂
    Lots of love – the golden one – the one without any conditions, unrepentantedly loving, because that’s just what we do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You do make me smile Kiki — which is a lovely gift. (oops re the missing ‘e’ – the ‘e’ on my laptop keyboard is wonky and sticks!) The Devil wears Prada face!!!! Love it — I was actually thinking I needed to still soften her more.

      And good point re the keeper and goner — I’m still wading through. ❤ Oh for the 3rd wave.

      And your name along with everyone else's is in! ❤

      I'll draw tomorrow morning before I post. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like “b”. Have so often witnessed , especially a spouse, voice what they feel is good for there partner. Partner concedes, either fails or doesn’t feel good about it. Damaging to self worth. That one really speaks loudly to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sharlene, I think it speaks from the same place within me too Sharlene – and still I hesitate… I think it is the little voice inside that knows when I’m pushing a boundary too hard versus Holding hard to a boundary I’ve never/don’t usually cross.

      It’s all quite fascinating!
      Thanks — you’re names in! ❤


  7. I read both; thought A sounded more like you and B more like something I would say and as I have been called aggressive and assertive I guess you get my point. But I’m in the C camp as well – it needs “something” in the wording (and like Kiki said perhaps her face as she does indeed look downtrodden rather than strong and resilient). As you said to me “when it’s right you will know it” and I think this works here for you as it did for me! Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ahhh… did they also tell you you’re wise?
      Thanks Bernie — I have worked on her face as I was not liking the black hair – faces are hard — getting the emotion I want is often secondary to the one that appears! 🙂

      And yup — when it’s right I’ll know.

      Interesting – when I hesitate like this it’s usually becuase I know… it’s not quite right. 🙂

      Your name’s in!



  8. I love the conversation you have generated here. Here are my thoughts. I agree that we can never know what is best for another person. Each person has their own journey and there is no way I would know what is best or wrong for him/her/them. As far as being aggressive, that is a matter of perspective. I think it is interesting to ask for and listen to another person’s reaction. Each person can say how they experience what is written. We bring our own context with us wherever we go.
    I love your work, Louise. Keep shining your light.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Ali – and yes, I too love the conversation – and yes – it is always about perspective and listening and honouring both our own space as well as allowing the other to feel honoured as well — it is all so very fascinating!

      Shine bright Ali!


      Liked by 2 people

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