I’ve been learning so much since my revelation in therapy last week. I’m devouring articles and books and finally – finally – understanding that my insecurities and fears are perfectly understandable as a direct result of things that happened a long time ago.
It’s as though a huge weight has been lifted. I am not defective.
There is nothing wrong with me.
Of course the people who love me have told me that forever, but it can’t penetrate if you believe, deep down, that they are wrong.
Now I know they are right and everything has changed.
I am seeing myself and others with true compassion, maybe for the first time. I have always thought of myself as a compassionate person, but now I realize that I was good at being compassionate about strangers, but less good at feeling compassion for those whose lives affected mine. Because I was so caught up in my own fears and insecurities, those closest to me were often viewed through that prism.
Now that I am giving myself a break, I find I’m able to give others a break too. I’m able to see them as they are – individuals with their own issues, hang-ups, insecurities, fears, strengths and weaknesses – all of which are nothing to do with me.
For someone who has spent her whole life feeling responsible for everyone else’s emotional state, this is a HUGE relief. I have smiled more over the last few days than I have in a long time.
And, even more important … I have finally been inspired to start painting more than just selfies and life drawings. Today I went out for a walk and passed some beautiful cows. Tonight, I started a painting of one of them. It’s been a long time, but I think maybe I’m on my way back!
The selfie (that’s the first painting!) is number 151 in a 356-day series. You can see the others here.