***For the sake of the audience I know visits my blog, I am censoring this post to a degree. But I am also going to be transparent here, and what I am sharing is real life, and some of it may make you uncomfortable. This is my disclaimer, because life is messy sometimes, and I know I need to be open and authentic about my journey. So please feel free to leave now if you aren’t looking for that. Part of me, the old perfectionist/people pleaser, can’t believe I’m actually writing this. But we are all so human. And if these words resonate with one person, my pain has had purpose.
“You fu**ing put me here. I hate you.”
Those were the only words I could scream to Him. To God. I sat up in bed, panic attack in full swing, choking on sobs, watching one large, dramatic drop of mascara hit my white comforter poetically & pathetically.
It was all piling up. All of the loss. The heartbreak. The change. The excruciating transformation in my life. No one ever told me that redemption was such hard work…that growing pains weren’t just uncomfortable, but sometimes a crippling kind of hurt. The kind of feeling that makes you almost believe you can’t keep going.
After a few failed attempts at calming myself down, I reached out to my friend Elizabeth, a gentle soul overflowing with truth and wisdom. This incredible woman encouraged me to dig deeper, to look in, and she begged the question, “Is it really yourself that you hate in this moment?”
And of course it was. This deeply rooted pain and anger was coming from MY life, my own circumstances. The months and years that were spent feeling so isolated, so misunderstood, so judged, so broken. Fighting to let go of the darkness, to never again live in a place like that, can actually feel incredibly lonely. That’s what I was telling God…that all of this hard work, energy, effort, and time I was pouring into making the tough choices, being a light, choosing good…it left me all by myself. Or so it seems at time.
The only place of refuge I find sometimes is in mediation and creation. My art is how I stop the panic. My mind goes elsewhere. My soul is in it’s place of worth. My heart knows where it belongs. It can speak there. It is free on that piece of paper. The ink allows it to run wild.
I was telling my dear friend, Nancy, that I’m afraid at times to share my art/my sketches because some people believe they are “too dark.” Her impeccably powerful and eloquent response was this:
“Dark and scary aren’t words I’d use with your stuff. Raw, jagged, uncomfortable and maybe even defiant… In the face of it all, the art is defiant.
The art itself, while depicting someone inside a hurt, is defiant in the face of cowardice or shame. What those who often face, the art meets head on, face first.
Look, if you ever went on raging benders where I thought you were harming yourself I’d chain you to a radiator and detox you myself, but this is art. And your drug, thankfully, is expression.
Hit it. Hit it hard. With everything you’ve got. Leave nothing there that could ever make you think you didn’t reach down far enough or cry hard enough or tap into something deep enough. Donald Miller didn’t call it “Close” he called it “Scary Close.”
Today would have been my two year wedding anniversary. And as I sit alone at home, pondering all of the ways life has twisted and turned, full of unexpected beauty and chaos, I actually mean it when I say I am grateful for today. I am grateful for the art and expression that saves me. I am grateful for having a voice, even one that God can handle at my worst. I am grateful to be pouring my soul out through a sketch pad and a pen tonight…defying the lies that want to consume all of us. It doesn’t win, you guys…the darkness, I mean. We are so strong. We are defiant. Keep going.