I find that the scars we carry with us on the inside are far worse than any we might carry on the outside. Often, those on the inside not only work to change our appearance in the most indirect of ways, but also they work to change our perception of the world. I know mine do.
Like most people, I have worked all my life to mask my internal scars. It wasn’t until I began writing that I made my scars visible. My first novel taught me the beauty found in what I thought were my most damaged, ugliest areas. Four years later, I’m still bringing scars to light and working to discover their beauty. In many ways, I am a living, breathing gallery exhibit. One in which lining the walls are all those moments in time that painted me a different color. Moments that reshaped the me I presented to the world. I spent years standing too close to these images. My inner being taught me to step back. And by doing so gaining a new perspective. I now see these works as complex masterpieces that each tell of their own story. Many of the stories are quite painful. But often pain births what will become our greatest joy if we have the courage to push through.
I know for me, my joy will never be experienced and known on an intimate level, unless I fully line the gallery walls with all that is within me. From that point on, I can stand back and carefully see each painting, each brush stroke and all the energy that formed them. I can once again absorb the moment and allow the moment to absorb me. The way good art is intended.
These paintings make up the culmination of my life. They have purpose. They have created in me a sensitivity that is extraordinary. One that hid itself early on. The small child in me buried her head often; closing her eyes to make it all go away. Now, with a few years of spiritual and self discovery behind me, I stand with eyes wide open.
I wish I could say this has been an easy gallery exhibit to view. It hasn’t been. It has caused more tears than I would have thought one human could produce. And yet, waiting on the wings of those tears is clarity. With each tear released is a bit more room for peace to enter. I have been asked of the pain assumed in sharing these things with others. Please know, once the masterpiece is viewed in wholeness by me, the pain is no longer active. For me to heal another, I need to first heal myself. When we step foot on our destined path, things happen. These things are quite necessary. For me to grow, I have to first push through the soil of all I once hid beneath. I think we all do. What do we have to offer anyone, if we are not first true to ourselves. How could my compassion ring with authenticity, if not for having first experienced the pain myself.
I am not ashamed of these portraits of my life. I see them as the masterpieces they are; poignant, painful, graceful and divine. They are me.