Interested in purchasing a print of this piece? Check out the "All of Me" Giclée Print in my Etsy shop today!
When I was younger, especially in middle school and high school, I wrote poetry, drew and painted regularly. It has been an empowering process to return to painting and poetry in particular. I am remembering that I can write poetry.
I am also remembering how vulnerable it is to write and share one’s writing. But I deeply believe in the power of vulnerability to heal and connect us. So in honor of mental health awareness month, I am re-discovering and now sharing past pieces I have created that are rooted in themes of mental and emotional health and include my own original writing.
I also created a new watercolor piece with an original poem in honor of mental health awareness month. This new "All of Me" piece focuses on a lesson I have had to return to over and over again in therapy.
That lesson is this: the parts of ourselves that we find hardest to accept are the same parts of ourselves that we need to learn to love the most.
And the even more difficult lesson is this: Those parts of us are never going away, they will always be with us and so we are invited to include and love them as part of us and that can be a terribly, painfully challenging process. It can also set us free.
In many ways, this piece is meant to be a reminder of that lesson and the need for self-love and compassion. I need that reminder every single day. And I trust that I am not alone.
I have been reading about the connection between trauma and addiction, marginalization and self-destructive behavior, emotional wounds and terminal illness. I am amazed by the connection between emotional and physical health. I am fascinated by the connection between our lack of healing and the destructive patterns in our lives.
And I am reminded over and over again of the need for healing so present in each of our lives, particularly, emotional healing.
It is tempting to want to fix our shame by ridding ourselves of guilt and pain. We invest a hell of a lot of money in fixes we think will cover up or distract us from our suffering.
It takes a lot of courage to face the pain head on, to let ourselves cry, to be human and heal.
It takes a lot of patience to heal and a lot of strength to resist the urge to fix ourselves.
I am grateful for those people in my life who have exemplified that courage and demonstrated that patience. And I am particularly grateful for those who have been present to me and reminded me over and over again to be brave, loving and patient in engaging my own journey of healing.
Mental health awareness month is one way to open up conversations about mental and emotional health and how vitally important it is to our lives. My hope is that art like this “All of Me” piece is one way that we can keep the conversation going.