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Posts tagged ‘trust’

Week 25 // Let Go

Portrait_Week24cI’ve felt this way a lot lately… like I am just beginning to walk out into a great big unknown. Like it is time to loosen my grip from the past and begin to step into the present and embrace life more fully. My life since my fiancé died has been a huge unknown – but for the better part of of these two years I have been in hibernation. I have, in a strange way, carved out a comfortable existence living within the beauty of my past. And it can be easy to want to stay there. I cannot see anything concrete ahead of me for my future after all. To face walking out into the vastness – with a fear that I will be alone and that his love will not follow – quite frankly, it scares the hell out of me.

And on another level, I have known for a while I need to start to build a community of photographers and galleries around me to continue to grow as an artist. This too scares the hell out of me, because it means everything to me. To take my images – which are very much a part of my soul – out into the scrupulous art world in bigger cities feels incredibly vulnerable. To walk out into that means that I have no clue what the landscape will look like or where it will take me. That’s scary for any artist.

But the past few months have been different. I have felt deep in my bones a push to move forward. It feels strangely automatic – like my soul is gently prodding me that it is time. And also a little bit like he is telling me so too. But it isn’t something I’ve been ready for at all. Cue the freaks outs and fears and tears that have run rampant in me for months now. It’s a daily struggle that few in my life have even known is going on.

There is a tremendous amount of pain in accepting that its time to let go, and begin to step out into this big unknown future that I must create now. The struggle has been in the fear that if I let go of whatever small solid ground I feel like I have, that I will lose my connection to him and perhaps to myself in a way.

I want to be clear here, by “let go” I do not mean let go of him. I think people get this confused… that somehow we got the meaning of this phrase all mixed up with the idea of letting go of a person. It doesn’t have anything to do with that. Why would anyone want us to let go or someone whom we love and who brings beauty into our world even after they have died? Of course not. The phrase “let go” is about trust. It means to let go of the fear. The fear of losing our connection to them. The fear that we are incapable of handling what’s ahead.

So that is place I have been for the past few months, the next lesson that I have been asked to learn I suppose. Trusting enough to let go. Learning it has meant being caught between this paralyzing fear of losing more and this insatiable pull to embrace my future and create more. It has meant learning to choose trust when I really want to choose fear… because I find trust is often more about a decision to commit than anything. This part of the journey has brought me to this image. To this new place where I’m gaining enough strength to decide to let go and trust… both in the unknown and in the idea that he will be with me no matter where life takes me, for all my years to come.

Week 16 // The Listening Place

Portrait_Week16

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When life as you know it ends abruptly, you fall into such a dark place. It leaves you questioning everything. In the space of grief you lose all sense of the faith and trust in the world you once so effortlessly knew and trusted. Things like waking up tomorrow. Or everyone you love waking up tomorrow. And that you’ll go to work tomorrow and do all the other normal life stuff that you’ve done every day before. When that normal life is shattered, you are shocked into whole other kinds of existence that is unpredictable and feels dangerous.

Suddenly nothing is certain or known, and all of life becomes an unfathomably large volume of big and complex questions and fears. It is that carefully complex system that goes on underneath my skin at all times. A whole undercurrent of questions and thoughts and scenarios that run through me… like “Where are you? Are you up in the sky somewhere, or right here next to me still? What is God really to me? How do I truly define that higher power and what is my honest soul connection to that? How to establish a connection to you, and to God? What do I do with all of this? Do I have a purpose, and if so how do I find that? Am I being led right now, right this very moment? Will I meet someone today who is going to be an important part of that purpose of mine? And will I know it? When will I love again? Am I even capable of falling in love again? What am I supposed to do now?” That’s just a tiny fraction of the things that continuously course through my veins now. Even in the middle of a crowd of people, often times this is where I truly am… in the listening place.

I am learning gradually to sit in this space – still and quiet – and to listen for the guidance I need. Listening for the soft whisper of the answers I search for – which often times comes in the form of just one word: Trust. Trusting is a lot easier when your life is settled and you feel like you know what to expect every day. It’s a whole other battle entirely when you cannot see anything in front of you. When you’re walking into blackness. When nothing feels like a known and everything feels like danger. That is the place where you can build something powerful though. The kind of inner trust and faith that moves mountains and is unshakable.

I have found when I remain quiet and allow myself this protected listening space inside of me, that I am able to connect with something larger than myself. And from this listening place I find a deeper trust than I ever knew existed… in myself, in a higher power, in the love of my soul mate, and in the unknowns of the journey ahead. That guidance does not always come quickly, or clearly. And it takes me an incredible amount of energy sometimes to decide to trust things a world that feels so unpredictable now. But I keep on trying, trusting, listening, and asking for guidance… and in the stillness of the listening place, eventually, it always seems to come.

If you’re new to this project, you can read more about it in this post.
Please share
 with anyone who you feel can relate to the imagery, my hope is that it gives many others a visual for something they are going through in their own lives.

None who Wander are Lost

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here… I’ve all but retired this blog, but I just happened to pop on over today. As I read my most recent post – way back in March of this year – I couldn’t help but reflect on how much as changed since then. Man, March feels as though it was years ago. I’ve spent the past year and a half pretty much lost since my fiancé died. Understandably so I guess. How could you NOT be lost after losing the most important person in your daily life and future? I’ve done the only thing I knew to do… create. A LOT. Art and writing and exposing myself to the art of others has all but consumed my days and filled them with some deep meaning in the midst of brutal pain. Creativity and the support of the people in my life are the two things that have kept me going. But there’s always been this voice nagging me, I’ve got to begin to move forward. I left my career after all, with NO plan really, so at some point I’ve got to have a new direction and begin to support myself again. I can’t very well live off the support of my family forever. And in the past few weeks, something has begun to click. I see a direction for the first time since he died. And really, I see a direction for the first time in my life that feels like what I was put here to do. With that, I’ve started to have a little hindsight that I figured I would share here.

Be careful about listening to that voice that tells you that you that something is wrong because you haven’t found THE thing you should be doing with your life. If you’re one of those people, then you may just be in a place like I’ve been…. lost. But lost really isn’t a bad place – its an absolutely necessary place. In your search, you have to try on a lot of different shoes and hats and gloves to begin to find something that works. Some find it quicker than others. Some always know it, but a lot of us have to spent years coming back to it. I’ve tried dozens of creative avenues in the past 16 months (and even more before that). Jewelry making, painting, encaustic or wax painting… I took another welding class and of course I’ve continued with my two greatest loves – photography and writing. I’ve done some art shows and considered being a writer and what kind of writer I would be if I were one. And the problem? I seriously love and enjoy ALL of these things but have NO motivation to make any of them my career. Well crap.

What I’m learning now is that there was a reason for this inability to commit. It’s not because I’m lazy. It’s not because I’m not trying hard enough or because something is inherently wrong with me (despite countless times I have convinced myself of all three of those). In fact, just the opposite… as it turns out, I was actually listening to my intuition all along. When it told me that wasn’t the path for me by cutting off my motivation for something, I listened and went to the next thing that excited me instead of trying to force something. After 16 months of following the winding, twisted path that intuition has led me on, I’m beginning to see that this is how we get there. It is never a straight road is it? It’s always a winding path through the forest.

By trying my best to trust my intuition, and taking action to step into whatever excites me, slowly and very quietly, a new direction has emerged. What I really want to be doing – and what I believe and can see that I am meant to be doing – is helping others to express their pain through art. By creating a safe and inspiring environment and guiding them through certain activities that have helped me to get grounded into my own emotions, I can help them to go to a place deep in themselves and use creativity to explore it. And to my surprise, I will indeed be using all of the many myriad of art forms that I have experimented with this past year. ALL of the things I love will come together into one cohesive direction over time, or at least a very good amount of it. I’ve only just begun, so I still don’t know where the rest of this winding path will go, but the fog has cleared a bit and given me room to see.

It’s nearly impossible to see how such things will fit together when we are in the middle of it. Especially if we are juggling grief, trauma, or even just the everyday stresses of life. But that’s the great thing about intuition – its not down there in the thick of it with you. Our intuition, I like to believe, is somewhere above us, able to see our life and our path from a higher vantage point. Eventually, if we listen to it long enough, we get to higher ground ourselves and can begin to see what was going on. We can see that every single twist and turn was an important piece of the way forward. It takes a huge amount of faith though, to continue to wander without knowing your exact course or direction. It takes an incredible amount of trust that forces outside of yourself can and do help you on your journey. It takes letting go, and then letting go again, and then letting go even more. 

I guess that’s why I’m writing this, to say to someone else out there to keep having faith. Keep trusting and keep moving in the directions that excite you, heal you, and fill you with wonder. Even if the fog is so thick you can’t see… remember that your intuition is above all that and it is there to help you if you will let it. Just follow the sound of  it ten more feet. And then listen again, and follow the next sound it gives you (even if it takes you back the direction you just came). It will still feel like you are going in a million directions, but your intuition will know all along exactly where to lead you. Trust that it can see the bigger picture and just listen. 

 

 

 

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