Art opens the doorway to the heart. Art-making opens the path to the soul.
As I painted and glazed and sketched and mused last night in preparation of the Artists Gone Wild Art Show & Sale this weekend, my fellow basement bombshell artist Tamara and I chatted about acceptance. About love. About life and living free of the past.
Most of my life, I told her, I wanted my mother to love me the way I wanted. It wasn’t until I let go of my expectations of how she loved me, and accepted she loved me the best way, the only way she knew how, that I found peace and acceptance of her, of me and our relationship.
At one point, my eldest daughter called me from Royal Roads University where she is currently studying. Someone had done something, or not done something, that she felt demonstrated their lack of love. She believed it made her unloved. Unloveable. Unworthy.
The truth is, I told my daughter of the beautiful soulful heart, regardless of what anyone else says or does, you are Loving. Loved and Loveable. It’s just the way you are. It is your nature.
It is a pattern. A pattern from my life to hers. Quite possibly from my ancestors lives to hers. The belief, need, yearning…
If you really love me, love me my way.
It’s not going to happen, I told my daughter, and my friend. Someone else is not going to love you exactly the way you want. They can only love you from where they are, how they are, who they are.
To be loved, to be the beloved our heart’s yearn for, we must surrender all fear of how unlovable, unloving and unworthy we are. We must stop telling ourselves we are failures, useless, unworthy, undeserving and choose to fall into Love with all of ourselves, our beauty and our beast, without expecting someone else to catch us, or paint us in another light. We must catch ourselves and hold ourselves in the light of Love, no matter what is happening in the world around us, no matter how we are presenting ourselves in the world. And when we can do that, when we can accept ourselves, as we are, and accept what is as it is, we will have all the Love we need to create the more, the better, the other we desire.
My mother loves me. She always has. I know this and still, there were times when I questioned her love. Her capacity to love. Her ability to be there for me in the way I needed. And in my questioning of her love (and the way she expressed it), I held myself back from stepping wholeheartedly into love with all of me, my beauty and my beast.
There have been times in our relationship when I have driven her crazy. Hurt her. Scared her. Not because I intentionally set out to do so. It’s mostly just that who I am has often been someone she has not understood. Someone who is very different than her. Someone who sees the world through their own eyes, and has difficulty accepting someone else’s worldview as their own.
It is my nature. To do it my way. When I was growing up, it is one of the things I remember my mother asking most often. “Why do you always have to do it your way? Why can’t you just do what I say?”
It wasn’t that she wanted to control me. Mostly, she wanted to keep me safe, and doing it my way, through her eyes, was a path of danger.
It wasn’t that I wanted to defy her. It’s just, I felt compelled to push the limits, test the edges, experience the unknown beyond the corridors of my mother’s world. It was my nature.
It is my heart’s desire. To know life through my experience, not through someone else’s.
The same is true for love. I cannot measure my worth through someone else’s words and actions.
To know Love, I cannot measure how loving or worthy I am through someone else’s eyes. I must choose to wholeheartedly accept that I am worthy. I am loving, loveable and loved.
It’s just the way I am.
It is my nature.
It is all our nature. Because, no matter what anyone says, no matter what happens in this world of wonder and pain, sorrow and joy, we are all magnificent. We are all the divine expression of amazing grace. Loving. Loved and Loveable.