This is a sharing that has been a year, maybe a lifetime, in the making. Feeling a bit fragile. But putting it out into the world anyway, because it's time.
Be gentle please.
Something, somewhere went wrong. I have no actual memory. But my history has revealed the pieces necessary to understand this. Pieces that, when seen separate, are perhaps not so clear. Yet over time, and with the right amount of reflection and courage? Quite telling. And unsettling.
This past year has been a year of healing. It began here. Dipping my brush into paint. Surrounded by red rocks, the magic of Sedona, and a tribe of sisters. I had no idea. Well. Some idea. But not tangible. Images revealed more than words ever could. A conversation that I was part of that, when sitting down, I knew I didn't want to hear. But there it was. I could ignore it no longer.
I started feeling like a yo yo. Up and down. Pushing away. Examining too close. It all becomes a blurry mess of nothingness. Brief glimpses of clarity. Then pain and disbelief surfacing again. What do I do with this? Where do I go from here? I have no "thing" to hold up to others to say, "See, here, THIS was done." Only a feeling... and a knowing. I put it on a shelf more often than not. Hoping all would be okay. Not needing to actually examine it now that I knew that it was there. Just admitting it existed was enough, right? It seems that it doesn't work that way.
My vagueness here is of course intentional. Out of fear. Layers of shame that I have had to wade through. Glimpsing my younger self. How fragile she was. How misunderstood. Her bravada? A mask of course. So much anger. And hurt.
What was done to me? I don't remember. But I know. I know that it robbed me, at a very young age, of my self-worth. My trust. A healthy sense of who I can be. Of the ability to connect. To relate. To feel.
Balance was lost. And perspective. For a decade I consumed vast amounts of alcohol, drowning something I had no idea even existed. Boundaries were non-existent. My body was not my own. Pretending to be free and independent. But having no idea how to relate. To feel safe. To share. To feel pleasure. To love.
When I got married, I had such hope that all would be well. That I would have found a safe harbor at last. A place to trust. But even there, still. This unknown thing haunted me. In ways that only now are beginning to be revealed. I had no idea. How powerful. How destructive.
And all the while I presented to my friends, my family, the world, that all was well. How could I not? Yet I know there were signs. My friends and family did see, not knowing either, but knowing that all was not right. But how could I begin to share with others something I didn't understand myself. Something that has no tangible form.
Recently, there's been this low level of chaos in my daily life that has been exhausting me. Nothing dramatic. Small little things. And yet I knew it was trying to tell me something. I had no idea what. If only I could figure it out. If I could crack the code. I could resolve this craziness. It was driving me mad.
Finally, something shifted last week. An insight from my soul sister. A piece of the puzzle clicked into place. That I was still pretending that all was well.
Why is so hard to see, what is trying so hard to be seen?
So I sat down to paint it out. Determined, to give this my full attention. It was time.
My intention for a painting that had started differently, one with the intention of abundance, transformed itself into one of healing. It was one of the hardest paintings to stay with. To let go. To trust. To not worry about the outcome. To just feel the paint. To caress the canvas in colors and light. To listen to my heart and let it lead me where I needed to finally go.
The process was euphoric. That's the only word that comes to mind. It was that transformative. Love filled me up in the space I created, and held me, even when I walked away in fear, not knowing what to do next. I kept coming back. Just feel the paint on the canvas. Just dive into the mixing of colors. The joy of creating. I walked away many times. But I came back. Again and again.
There is also now, the result of that work. Pure joy to my eyes. This painting? It is by far my most favorite ever. I have never loved a painting as much as this one. The image itself. An image that did not come from my brain. One that revealed itself slowly, little by little, layer by layer. I adore the colors. The shades of blue. And most of all, I love knowing all that it represents. Healing. Forgiveness. Reclaiming myself, my sexuality. And most of all, Love.
It is a breakthrough painting. A breakthrough moment in my life.
A healing journey that has finally begun.
I am full of gratitude.
For this. For all of you.
Ensemble, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48"
This post is dedicated to Shauna, Christine, Lauren, and Betsy. You have no idea how much love I have for you, for that conversation, where all I could do was listen, with all my heart. Thank you.
And to Connie. For creating the container. The safest most beautiful container ever. Thank you.