This week you get a rare peek into an anecdotal blog- this is a topic I feel is important enough to share some personal information and opinion. Please, if this is not for you and not in line with your sensibilities, take no offense, I do not offer my views to you aggressively and am always open minded and grateful to listen to your thoughts and experiences:
I am currently preparing two pieces for a female artists’ invitational honoring International Women’s Day (the Holiday is March 8, 2019). This day has always been important to me and so is this show and its message. Because of this, women’s history, feminism, and I suppose the unfortunate current exacerbated global climate of hate, division and fear have been heavy on my mind, and not so far from home. I hear and feel in my heart your stories firsthand on the therapy couch. I don’t pretend to ever know what another person’s experience is like and to hear these stories and take care of them purely by the listening is a responsibility I take very seriously. What I can say from hearing your stories and from knowing my own is that we are universally connected in our experiencing of hardships- of how we have been put down, marginalized, criticized, overlooked, judged and worse by other human beings. In a strange way it seems to be a fairly ubiquitous experience of humanity- though in varying degrees. I marvel not infrequently that people don’t connect more often on this simple point: life is a struggle and we are all struggling together.
This is a difficult topic to write about because I know how delicate it is. Each of us have been injured and many of us deeply. All of us so differently. That means there isn’t much that can be said specifically that won’t trigger someone else painfully. Perhaps, again, the best we can do is simply acknowledge, generally, this common experience of humanity. I wonder if healers, nurturers and helpers get a cross-section of stories and can see this better. Sometimes I meet a person that just seems to be born seeing “big” with “eyes open” able to consider the experiences of others easily. Others struggle or are unwilling to do this very thing. Regardless, all of us are neighbors, coworkers, and community members together.
The big question I suppose, is will anything ever change? Has it ever changed, historically? To be honest, I am not sure about the latter. I certainly want to have hope for the former. I think most of us have a pretty good idea of what it will take: good human beings as our children. The most simple and beautiful concept- muddied by a chaotic world of influences that each of them, each of us, came into.
I have been, and perhaps you have been, too, struck by this experience: watching young children, (perhaps 5 years old, perhaps younger) playing together. They do hurt one another’s feelings- but they also see each other’s pain and are quick to see their mistakes. They rally for each other. They are so beautifully inclusive. The new kid is incorporated. The shy kid isn’t left out. The crying kid isn’t shamed and someone gives them a hug. The child that doesn’t understand the game is explained the rules so they can play. Conflicts arise and are resolved. Clearly the potential for a future all of us hopefully want is there. We can see it in our littles.
From my perspective that is the most important thing we have to do. Maybe we adults are broken. Maybe we are too set in our ways. Maybe our hurts, our past, our present, have entrenched us too much to really change. Maybe not. But maybe. But maybe not so much that we can’t still want different for our children and support their natural inclinations to do better. I think looking at them we know what this looks like. We know that it’s better. Can we give it to them? Can we allow them to have it? I see this as our most serious responsibility.
These are my thoughts these days as I paint.
(C) 2019 Creatively, LLC
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.