Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable.
I have been thinking a lot about this quote lately. Feelings of fear, weakness and vulnerability are present in my life. I notice it when I create a new work of art, write a blog post and hit publish, share my true feelings, worry about my family and struggle with being present.
Recently, I made a custom order painting for a friend that was ordered as a surprise gift from her husband. I think custom order artwork holds added pressure to please the buyer. It triggers my fears around having people "like" me and often makes me uncomfortable. When I finished this painting, I was happy with it and took it to the post office. Then I felt scared and vulnerable for days. My mind turned into a bad neighborhood. I created a whole story around why my friend would dislike the painting immensely and convinced myself it was true. (It was not true.)
A while back I decided to write an honest biography of how I started making art. I wanted my "about page" to reflect what is real. I did not go to art school and although I could write a paragraph including lists of things that qualify me as professional and experienced, the real truth is that I fell into art picking up the pieces of my broken marriage and shattered heart. In sharing this story, I felt a mixture of fear and vulnerability, but also freedom. I know that each time I honor what is true for me I am growing stronger and connecting more deeply with others.
The challenging thing about this on-line world of facebook, tweeting, blogging, sharing and commenting is it can leave me feeling exposed and bring up my most fearful parts. I notice the fear now, but it doesn't hold me back as much as it used to. I know there is always a gift on the other side. Thankfully, it is getting easier to be brave.