Healing – The Long Road Ahead

"Broken" 11x14 mixed media (SOLD); prints available.

“Broken” 11×14 mixed media (SOLD); prints available.

Long ago, I was a Zombie walking the earth half-seeing, half-hearing and devoid of feeling. I’m an optimist at heart, but I suppressed my feelings in order to “keep the peace.” I summoned a tremendous amount of self-control. For this I paid a heavy price. Even now, after all these years, I still have difficulty shedding tears, showing emotion or responding to members of my own family in appropriate ways.

I became a blank slate. A workaholic. An emotional cripple. It has taken me years to come out of the shadows and declare myself “free at last,” unchained from guilt and past pain, rising to become a distinct individual in my own right.

What kept me going? An unshakable faith in truth and right, and the willingness to keep going, even though everything in me threatened to quit, to rest, to expire like the dates on old cans.

"Beach Buddies" acrylic on canvas

“Beach Buddies” acrylic on canvas

When life throws you a curve ball, you have the choice to quit, to lash out, or to keep on keeping on, one step at a time. It works. Keeping the blood moving through your veins and pumping to your heart is vital. Somehow you muddle through and reach a level of clarity that permits a new perspective. Your mind and heart begin to funnel out the grief, the hurt, and the shame that have accumulated. You step forth with renewed hope.

When you finally reach the pinnacle of self-awareness, and learn to accept what is and what was, you emerge ready for a fresh start. A new beginning. A re-birth of purpose and commitment.

Healing is an enormous victory and takes a huge chunk out of your life. Without this cleansing process, your feet would remain mired in the past. The challenge is to relate to people on this new level of experience.

My two daughters bake me a cake, even though we're miles and miles apart.

My two daughters bake me a cake, even though we’re miles apart.

Others may try to push you back into their own comfortable expectations, cluttered by their former memories and interactions with you. You must not allow it. You’re making progress and there’s no going back!

An anchor helps, whether it’s a family member or friend. My faith in God held me to the task. Without God I may have reached out for something to numb the pain.

Some people turn to addictions of one kind or another as a way to dull experience. The end result is more disastrous than the pain that caused it in the first place. Friends may help or they may enable your dependency even more.

A crutch to lean on may feel temporarily good, but you may never get past your present state. I laid my sorrows at the feet of God and walked away. When I acknowledged that I had a problem bigger than myself and admitted my need for God’s love and grace, the burdens were lifted and I became a new person.

You cannot change what has gone before. You can only go forward, live in the present and embrace the future. You are a living witness to yourself and others that forgiveness and healing are possible.

"Looking Outward" (old window frame); acrylic on glass/canvas

“Looking Outward” (old window); acrylic on glass/canvas

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