Saturday, April 14, 2018

Process vs Product

One of the interesting concepts I explored while working with early childhood teachers is the difference between process and product art. 

Now I am learning pour painting which produce a product over which other than choosing colors I have very little control.  I mix the paints with glue, combine them into a cup then using different methods pour them onto the canvas.  I am at the beginning experimentation stage.  I listened to multiple videos before starting but then it was applying the basics to the materials I had.  The thing that fascinates me is I am limited in control, I let go of expectations and enjoy the process of mixing and pouring.  Often the final results are not visible until the next day when it is totally dried. 

The interesting thing to me is the concept that one of the struggles of counseling and treatment of PTSD is they treat people like a product to produce particular results.  People will then become.... __________, ________________, _______________.  People are treated like products to be pushed shoved and manipulated into a particular behavior. 

Fortunately for me, my first counselor taught me the process of living.  He first helped me to see the damage caused by how I was raised.  Tough going for anyone that experienced the ugly unveiling of lies distorting belief system from childhood.  He then cautioned me that my past did not define who I am now.  I looked at him utterly and completely confused.  I was a product of my past, or so I believed.  He reassured me that all that happened in my past was part of the process of my individual journey.  I have the opportunity every morning to get up and decide will my past be my present or will I take the lessons I learned a create something totally different than what I was told would happen.

People aren't products.  Treating them like you pour in one cup of this and two cups of that and a pinch of the other will create the same thing withe everyone doesn't make sense.  Yet, many of the 'treatments' for PTSD and CPTSD try to do exactly that.  As long as I look for a secret recipe to change my life, I will be disappointed.  However, when I learn the process of traveling through life, my adventure and explore avenues and try new things I am growing and thriving.  My difficult stumbling blocks from my past can be re-purposed into stepping stones. Occasionally, I will look back at a bridge I crossed, give a little smile and burn that bridge, never to go back to that place again.  I am signing up for the process of living instead of being a product produced by my past.

   Process art with photography.....painting with light. 

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