"You are so brave"
This statement was one that was made to me in the midst of suffering. We were processing a major loss after one of our many failed attempts to get pregnant.
When it was spoken to me, it was as if a new chord had been struck that my ears had never heard before.
However, I HAD heard those words spoken... Just not too me, about me, so sincerely, in the midst of going through turmoil that required untold amounts of bravery.
The phrase became like a strand of pearls that I fastened around my neck. I could reach up and touch each shiney sphere and wear it proudly.
I am brave.
And so are you.
There is that quote....in fact my penpal just sent it along in my most recent package.
"You never know how strong you are ... Until being strong is the only choice you have"
The same goes for bravery.
We can do hard things. We are capapble of so much. And the hardest most soul crushing experiences have a unique way of guiding us to a better version of ourselves.
I wish I didnt have to be this brave. I wish the suffering and pain of infertility could be skipped over and swept away.
Here I am, six years in, finding myself doing things I may have never had the courage to do.
In these years I learned to run, I've stood up for myself, I've shared my struggles publicly, I tought myself new skills, I've grown more compassionate, I've embraced my journey. I did the hard work of dragging up old thoughts and tossing them out, I've attended events alone, asked for hugs when I need them, I've read books, stood my ground, evolved.
I've put myself out there and taken chances on my dreams and ideas.
It's not like I suddenly have super human courage and go at these things without fear. Don't get me wrong.
I struggle. Daily.
It is hard and most always it is difficult.
And I often find myself wearing a strand of thin glass beads next to my pearls. A string of vounerability that can shatter and cause pain at any moment.
I know that I can do hard things.
And the more I remind myself
"you are so brave"
the more I believe it.
in light of all this talk about bravery. Here is a story:
I always considered myself a creative person. Never an artist though, THAT was a title I felt you had to earn, to know a lot about, to work towards. Artists took risks, had crazy amazing skills, were admired, had art degrees. Artists had their own social circle, that I didnt fit into.
In my strange brain, I could accept myself as creative, even artistic... But I could not be An Artist!
Maybe one day I would have an art room in my future home? Yes, but as a hobbiest NOT an artist. Sure I wrote song lyrics, imagined melodies, worked with musicians, sang publicly... As a musicly inclined human NOT an artist. I created things, explored personal artistic projects, wrote poetry, took chances and risks... As a creative being NOT an artist.
And then one day... After painting with water colors and watching a video series
titled "becoming: the unfolding of you" something shifted.
IT felt like I was being coaxed into this new way of seeing myself. Ideas swirled in my brain and it dawned on me that if I didn't believe I could be an Artist... Then I never would be one.
so I tossed that notion.
plucked like the weed it was...growing in the garden of my brain. If I wanted beautiful things to bloom in my life, I needed to do some work.
down in the dirt. Digging up weeds.
I told myself to embrace the idea that I COULD be an Artist.
And that's how the journey began.
2 years have passed, and certainly a LOT of weeding, unfolding, pruning, learning, growing.
But here I am...
And in exactly one month from today...
My first ever show!
In a gallery!!!!
with MY paintings! My poetry!!!
I can hardly believe it... I
But I keep reminding myself
"you are so brave"
at The Art Garage, Peoria IL
I love using words to connect with my fellow humans.