Yup, I had a shitty day. I was suffering from insomnia, or as I like to call it sleep rebellion. This was a week ago. I threw some watercolour on it tonight. I’m sure everyone has days like this. We can’t all be Pollyanna’s every day.
In order for me to truly love and respect another, I have to first love and respect myself. That, for me is a very tall order. I’m sure many of you, like me, heard the words “You should be ashamed of yourself.” coming from your parents, maybe even your spouse. This little sentence, I believe can have devastating effects on a child, and the future adult that child will become.
My parents were brought up British old school, with strict discipline. With the “Spare the rod spoil the child.” mentality. Mind you it was not all doom and gloom, but there were some things we didn’t do. One of them was hug, at least I don’t remember a lot of hugging going on.
There was no real physical love, but there was corporal punishment. Oh we were not beaten within an inch of our lives. But, we did feel the smack of a hand firmly on the seat of education at times, and I am alive today to tell about it.
We did know that we were loved. After all my Dad told me as he swatted my butt “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” Right… I had NO idea what he meant by that one. But, I did know I was loved. Even if I don’t remember a lot of hugs.
So… when I went out into the world on my own, I discovered something. People hugged one another! Who knew?! I realized that this was something sadly lacking in my father’s life. So, one day I started to hug him whether he liked it or not. There were no guarantee that he would accept this affection. To my delight, he did accept it. At first he was uncomfortable and wanted to pull away after the “acceptable” time limit. But, I always held on a few seconds more. He would never be the one to initiate the hug. But, low and behold he started to change. The first place I saw this change was him hugging his grand children.
So, what is my point? I had no guarantees that Dad would accept my affection. I had to step up to the plate first and become vulnerable. I had to risk rejection in order to gain the reward of his returned affection.
I learned something profound from this. A hug can melt the most hardened and damaged heart. It can even mend your own.
I dearly loved my father. He was a generous man who always wanted the best for us. He was a teacher at heart, and was always teaching us. Although, at the time his lectures were intimidating. He spoke the truth as he knew it. He was himself. He never tried to be anyone else. Because he was honest with us, we respected and loved him.
So, be honest with yourself and others. Live with your whole heart, and choose to be yourself. Stop trying to fix everything that “you should be ashamed of” you are not perfect, none of us are. Love yourself for who you are now, not who you will be tomorrow. Know the you are “enough.”
~ inspired by Donna Mulholland’s 21 days of watercolour journaling, and Brené Brown’s TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability:
However, along the way I received a whole lot more than just discipline to take the time. The women I met are wonderful, The wisdom, grace, and kindness they showed to one another was the most touching thing that I’ve experienced in my life in a very long time.
So, I’ve turned a new chapter in my life. I’ve vowed to myself that I will take more time for me. That I will look after myself in body, mind and spirit. I’m going to take care of me first, because I can’t take care of anyone else If I’m not in good shape. This is not a selfish endeavor. I am going to be the best friend I ever had.
I’m so going to miss the group of wonderful people I’ve been working with over the last month. I do hope that they keep in touch here on our Flickr group.
This is an experiment using tape as a resist. Working in layers allowing the washes to dry, and removing replacing tape. It takes patience to wait till the washes are dry before removing the tape. I will probably do more experimenting with this method.
This is my favorite photo of myself, and my grandson. I could choose no other song to accompany this page but a relatively obscure song by Cat Stevens, I’ve got a thing about seeing my grandson grow. Have a listen!
Oh, and no watercolour was harmed in the making of this picture. But harm did come to some unfortunate Prismacolor Brush tip markers. :P