Monday, August 22, 2011
Monday Morning Inspiration
Today's blog post comes from my heart.
Quite a few years ago I had a tumor in my jaw. It was found purely by accident. A friend of mine was in her last year of dental school and needed to start taking patients. I was game. Dental had just been added to my insurance program (I don't think anyone says this anymore), so why not? Long story short, she found the tumor. I had a number of procedures done to prepare me for the surgery and to save my teeth (good thing). The surgery was horrible, so much more painful than I could ever have imagined. They had to take a good portion of my jawbone as the tumor was larger than they had expected. Two very good things though, after the biopsy was completed, no cancer. The second was that in the history of the dental school, they had never had this situation to deal with, so they told me that my case would be used at this school for all graduating oral surgeons. Rather impressive.
Fast forward a number years. I had begun to have horrible headaches and the joints in my jaws ached all the time. I was sent to see the head of the dental school. When she walked in the room, her eyes twinkled and she said, "so you're the one." She had my case as a graduating oral surgeon! It was very exciting to her to have the opportunity to deal with the aftermath of the surgery. And by the way, she did a phenomenal job, unless I told you, you would never even know that I had any surgery on my face. A little different story if you see my x-rays, I look like the bride of Frankenstein! The preparation for rebuilding my face was a long process. It took a little over a year to prepare and as much time on the backside to heal. During the preparation period, I found out about a class that was being offered called The Artist's Way. It sounded interesting, a class on creativity. Long story short, this has been one of the best experiences of my life. I attended as many classes as I could and did my best to keep up with the weekly assignments. Although it was a wonderful experience, I knew that I didn't get as much out of the class as I could have, so a few years later I decided to work through the book all on my own. This experience has been life changing.
There are a couple of exercises that are a must, you must write, by hand, three pages every morning and each week you must do something that the author calls an artist date. This "date" must be done alone. Now what's interesting is how easy it is to let things get in the way of these two tasks. Once I made the commitment though, it was amazing how much I looked forward to these dates. I've done all sorts of things, some as simple as taking a walk in the park, or treating myself to a long luxurious bath. The writing is quite interesting. The writing is to be done in the morning before the events of the day have started and the writing is whatever happens to be on your mind at that time. You can learn more about this here. I have heard many complain that they just couldn't write three pages. Yes you can. What's interesting to me is that on the mornings when I think I have absolutely nothing on my mind, those are the very days that I learn the most powerful things. It's always amazing where I start, and where I end.
This journey is about righting the past through writing. We have all heard the expression, into every life a little rain must fall. This little saying makes it sound like the rain is just a lovely afternoon shower when the truth of the matter is that the rain is more of a thunder storm that comes in the night, lightening flashing and everything is so dark that we think we'll never see the light of day. But day eventually does comes and we're left to lick wounds that may heal but leave terrible scars.
Earlier this year I learned the truth about something that I could never figure out. I learned that a person whom I at one time idolized, had lied terribly about me. Once I knew the truth, everything made sense, but it didn't make the situation any easier to deal with. This person should be the person who protects me any any cost, but they lied in order to save themselves. I have a number of paintings that this person created. For so many years, I held on to them convincing myself that someone who could create something so beautiful had to have good in them. There is no good. In May I took all of these paintings down. It was much harder than I could have imagined. These were things that have been a part of my life for so many years and in taking them down, I knew that they never would be again, but I also knew that they could no longer be a part of my life. Hanging on my walls they were like a constant reminder of a person who had caused so much pain in my life. Then came the question, what should I do with them? One friend offered that I should burn them, another suggested that I sell them and do something nice for myself. None of this felt right. It was through my morning pages that I found what felt right for me, donate them to a charity that I love. Tomorrow that is exactly what I will be doing.
A friend of mine signs all of her emails with "I am worthy of my dreams." Yes, she is saying that she is worthy of her dreams, but what I love so much is that she is reminding anyone who reads this that we are worthy of our dreams as well. We are all worthy of our dreams. I once heard that the richest place on earth is the graveyard. Buried there you will find music that was never composed, books that were never written, paintings that were never painted. These precious people bought into the lie that those black storms brought with them, you aren't good enough, you aren't worthy.
Because of the Artist's Way, I began to draw and to paint and to believe that I truly can. I have been invited to show some of my artwork in an exhibit later this year. Exciting. Something that only a few years ago I would never have dreamed possible. And here I am writing to you. Writing is a passion of mine. I love when I'm told, "I can hear your heart."
I hope that by me opening my heart today, that someone will be encouraged. Maybe like me there is something you need to let go of, or maybe there is a dream that you have that for whatever reason you've thought, "I can't." Trust me, you can.