For the first time in my life, I put everything else aside. I kept my TV off, and instead I painted. In each piece I did, I felt so clear and so in the flow with the energy of my spirit. The world as I knew it faded away and I was absorbed in the shapes and colors and layers upon layers of brushstrokes.
After I finished Girl Power, I knew it was time to explore my feelings about my father again. I went back to my envelope of childhood photos and selected one of my father, sister, and me holding the lettuce from his garden. I could hear him begging me to stand with them in the photo, to hold his creation that was just yucky to me. I was to smile at the camera with his lettuce in hand. While looking at us posing, it felt so staged, so happy on the surface but in reality, we were not. There is so much more I could say but I’ll leave it at that. Yeah, it’s hard to write about this now because I have come so far through my painting journey. But in that period of my life, these abstract paintings were the first time that I really started feeling a tiny bit of relief. Finally, I had a creative outlet that was self-healing.
I am revealing my story because I truly believe there are those of you who have felt the same as I have, down right bad, and you don’t know what else to do. You have tried many avenues to feel good. Many of you have even masked your true feelings to everyone around. Sure, distractions do work. But there comes a time in life where you believe you need to clear out how you really feel, to reveal some deep beliefs that are causing much stress. You know something needs to come out and that you can’t go on living with these feelings any more. They are affecting your life and you need a positive way to release them. No more addictive behavior because that just makes them grow larger. No more hiding behind your true feelings. No more faking your way through life. Your inner spirit is calling you to use a creative outlet for self-expression and awareness. And that is why I got so hooked on these paintings. I knew painting my feelings was the best thing I could be doing for my self.
You see, the perceptions and beliefs that were hidden most of my life were coming to the surface. These words were in my mind, they were right there as I painted. When I really paid attention to these words floating around in my head, they sounded off. They sounded really wrong. Where were they coming from? Were they words that I heard as a child? Were they things I heard from other children? There were in me but they didn’t sound from me. And they kept coming to the surface as I painted. The more layers I put down, the more words rose to the surface. It was as if my brush kept pulling them out of me. It felt as if they were leaving my subconscious, they were leaving my mind. They were negative, they put me down, they judged me, they judged everyone around me. They questioned all I did and everything I said. And none of them made me feel good.
Then something remarkable happened. I finally reached a place where I heard an understanding thought. Rather than feeling anger while thinking about my father, I became calm. The words I heard sounded something like this: “My father’s truth is different from my truth and neither of our truth is wrong. They are just our own perceptions of our own life.” This little nugget of relief was what kept me painting.