I Was A Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men From My Past

From the time I was 13 on, I was a promiscuous teen. 

I’d like to say that at some point I learned from my mistakes, but after listening to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony during the Kavanaugh hearings, my past came barreling back into the forefront of my brain and it is clear to me that the behaviors I learned in my teens never really ended.  They went with me into my 20s, 30s, my marriage, how I parented my daughter.  It’s all right there in front of me now.  Like a glaring light that I just realized has been on and blinding me my whole life. 

 

Dear All the Men from My Past,

 

Before your instinct to defend yourself kicks in, it is important for you to know that I don’t blame all of you.  I have no desire to live in anger or point fingers.  That is not the purpose of this letter. 

 

Please read the above sentences twice…a few times maybe.  It’s 100% true.  However, do not confuse my desire to live at peace free from anger as my saying that you are negate of any responsibility…there are many of you who I do blame and hold responsible. 

 

Some of you took advantage of a young girl with a substance abuse problem.  Some of you were older and thought because I looked and acted older than I was, that it was ok to have sex with me.  At least that’s what you said to me:  “You’re so mature.”  Is that how you justified yourself?  Truth is I’m not too sure what would make an 18-year-old have sex with a 13-year-old, or a 19-year-old with a 14-year-old, or a 24-year-old with a 15-year-old.  Does it matter to you what the age differences are?

 

Or those of you who took advantage of me when I was completely inebriated.  Mornings when I woke up in an empty bed without pants on, not even really sure who had been in the bed with me.  Those of you who took me out and drank with me to excess and then thought it ok to have sex with me, leading up to moments of my coming to, alone in a room at a party, not really sure what had happened at all. 

 

Some of you I cared for and was desperate for you to care for me.  Some of you, with whom I shared a mutual sexual desire (or at least as much of one that a young teen can have and understand), I had fun with, only to realize that was all it would ever be.  And some of you actually cared about me. Whatever the case may be, past sexual traumas have been shoved in all of our faces these past few weeks, and many of us are reeling from things that we haven’t thought about in years or maybe just swept under the carpet and thought that it wasn’t a big deal, unaware of the daily emotional strife that has been caused from it.  I’ve heard situations described that I have experienced in my past, now talked about as violations…and it never occurred to me that they were…until now.

 

What I want you all to know is that it is a big deal.  It has had long lasting ramifications on my self-esteem, my decision making, and my sexual and mental health as an adult.  I may not blame all of you for the past, but if another generation of men are raised thinking that this type of sexual behavior is ok, that’s a problem, and one that I do put directly on you.  And if another generation of women are raised not knowing how to use their voices, that’s an issue as well and one that you also have a responsibility to rectify.

 

I was a very confused girl who wanted attention and love.  Rarely did I say no.  Rarely did I push you away.  If I started to say no, I was easily swayed once a bit of pressure was applied.  The fact is, I didn’t feel like I could say no.  That saying no meant never having love.  That it was better to just let you do what you wanted rather than say no.  That the way to get love was to be amenable.  The way to make you stay was to put out.  But none of you ever stayed.

 

The reason I don’t blame all of you is that we live in a society where I unknowingly was taught to please men and where men (perhaps at times unknowingly as well) have an expectation of women being agreeable to meeting all of their needs without argument.  Were my parents direct messengers of this?  No.  But it was all around me.  In magazine images, TV shows and movies.  The realization that one of my favorite John Hughes movies portrays date rape never occurred to me until someone wrote a blog post about it last week. 

 

We are being told about blatant attacks, horrendous sexual violations where women feel their lives are in danger, and this type of behavior is obviously abhorrent in a black and white sort of way.  However, there is also a huge gray area that needs to be discussed, where women may be confused and not communicating what they feel deeply because of social and sexual pressures.  I wanted you to like me.  I wanted you to love me.  I wanted you to be there and “no” just didn’t seem like an option to get to that outcome.  It is important for you to know that I was a terrified girl looking for approval.  Is that sexy for you?  To know that I was most likely full of doubt, self-loathing, and terror when we had sex? I sure hope not.  In your defense, I will say that I never let you know.  I never learned that it was ok to use my voice, and it’s something that as a 42-year-old woman I am now having to deal with. 

 

What you did has had a long-term effect on my life.  I have had to fight back from a debilitating alcohol problem that increased greatly during my teen years and didn’t stop until I was having suicidal thoughts in my mid-thirties.  I still live with daily anxiety battles and grapple with depression at times.  We are now learning that these are all issues that women who live with past sexual trauma are more likely to have.  And think about this: we are also more likely to pass these horrible behaviors down to our own children.

 

So, men, here is what I am asking from you:

 

Talk to your children.  Talk to them about sex. Awkward as it may be, it’s only awkward because we make it that way.  If they are old enough to ask the questions, they are old enough to get honest answers.  Tell them the ways you got it right and the ways you got it wrong. Admit to your mistakes so they know it’s ok to admit to their own. 

 

Tell your boys that if they see a girl drinking heavily throughout the night, it’s not ok to have sex with her, period, even if they’re drinking with her.  Tell them that if she’s under 18 and he is over 18, no matter how mature she is, it’s rape.  Teach them about what actual consent is and how consent can be sexy because it creates trust.

 

Teach your boys that cornering girls in parties and trying to forcibly kiss and/or touch them is wrong…yes, even if the girl has a reputation for being "easy".  Tell them that if a girl says no and then yes, or yes and then no, that there is conflict brewing inside her and that if there is conflict, sex is not an option. There must be clarity in consent before sex.  And please tell them that a proper response to a girl saying yes and then no is NEVER, “can I just finish?”

 

Teach them that it is not ok to expose themselves to anyone unsolicited, EVER.  I didn’t grow up with cell phones but in this case, I am also talking about sending unsolicited photos.  Teach them that while engaged in sexual activity, consent needs to be ask for again before trying new things.  Teach them about healthy sexual trust and that the real way to please a woman sexually from the beginning is by building that healthy foundation.

 

All of these things happened to me, most of them more than once.  I was a troubled girl and that led to me being a troubled woman for a very long time. I drank and didn’t say no, but that doesn’t mean that any of this was ok…and I am slowly learning that it doesn’t mean it was all my fault.  I was a child when I learned these behaviors and they carried into my adulthood.

 

I also want you to talk to your daughters. Tell them that no matter what, having sex, allowing touching, kissing, oral sex, whatever it may be, none of it will lead to love.  None of it will ever make boys stay. That love and trust leads to sex, not the other way around.  Tell them that having sex while inebriated can cause feelings of shame, guilt, and confusion, and to make it a rule for themselves that when they are drinking, sex is not an option. 

 

Tell your daughters that if they ever feel pressure to do something that they are not comfortable with, to use their voice because they hold more power than they may think.  Teach them that they should be as loud as they want when saying no.  That if they feel discomfort in a situation, even if they can’t pinpoint exactly where the discomfort is coming from, that it means something is not right, and therefore it is not the right time to engage in sexual activity.  It is ok for them to leave the situation.  It is ok for them to defend themselves.  That the fact that they “put themselves in that situation” does NOT make it all their fault. 

 

And make sure you are clear that whatever boy makes her feel pressured or uncomfortable is NOT a good person and will never make a good partner because in reality, he doesn't care about her, he only cares about finding sexual release.  And it is of the utmost importance that your daughters hear this from YOU, their fathers.  They can have these conversations with their mothers as well, but hearing it from the most important man in their life will make a huge impression.

 

In my case, having sex never made one of you stay, it just meant that you would tell your friends that I was an easy lay.  I would be so happy when one of you would call and ask to hang out, and I can still feel the desperate humiliation of that translating to being brought to a remote place to have sex in your car.  Time after time I allowed this to happen.  I was frozen in fear.  Is that what you find sexy?  A young girl too scared to move? 

 

The thought of my daughter having to go through what I am now going through makes me want to vomit.  It should upset us all, including you. I pray that you see the problem and talk to your kids.  I hope that you, the young man who took advantage of a much younger and troubled girl, look at your own daughters or nieces or cousins or step-daughters when they are 13, 14, and 15-years-old and think to yourself, “That’s how old she was when I fed her drinks and slept with her”.   Is that sexy now?

 

We all have to take responsibility for our own part.  I have been dismantling my past behaviors for the 5 years that alcohol has no longer been in my life.  But now, over the past couple of weeks, I have relived all of it including an intense deluge of the shame, guilt and humiliation which I have unknowingly been living with every single day since I lost my virginity, drunk at 13, to an 18-year-old. I feel this. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Have you felt any of that?  Have you thought back on your own behaviors and felt a crushing sense of pain?  I’d like to think that some of you have, but I have a feeling that you have not thought twice about it or me, and that has to change.

 

It is time for you to see what this behavior does to women.  It is time for a change to be made.  I have to find a way past the shame, guilt, and humiliation, which has now turned into anger, sadness and exhaustion.  It is time for you to pitch in and do your part.  So, will you?

 

 

Sincerely,

A Promiscuous Teen

Pictured above at 16-Years-Old

 

*UPDATE*

Thank you for your emails, DMs and comments.  You have all made me realize that I'm not alone and, sadly, that my story is not unique. In reaction to the incredible response that I have received from all of the world, I created a series of paintings called Reclaimed Hearts. These paintings are dedicated to you.  It's never too late to take your power back and love yourself.  Click here to see the series.

 

Thank you to Geoffrey Riley and the JPR team for interviewing me on this topic. You can listen to that interview by clicking here.   

 

Thank you to Paul Gilmartin for having me on his podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour.  An interview on the popular podcast with host, Paul Gilmartin, where I read my essay discussing gray area issues like consent, alcohol, objectification and trading sex for love, attention or to avoid abandonment. You can listen by downloading the podcast app or going to: https://mentalpod.com/archives/5168.   

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this crazy, beautiful Artventure.

Comments (112):

MAn_1975 on

Hi. I found your text by coincidence. I don’t know where this tendency woman have to think that their experiences are exclusively related to their gender. Look. I’m a man and I look back at my promiscuous teenage years, from the age of 14 when I was raped but soon discovered that I wanted more of that where it came from, to hook ups, old men, Arab asylum seekers, to finally finding some stability in a father figure, forgetting myself in the process of surviving. Then I read your text, which reminds me of myself, only to find that you exclude me from your narrative because I’m a man and apparently a potential abuser. Reality is far far more complex than that. I’m sorry that your life story hasn’t brought you to that insight, yet.

ConcernedMamaInCA on

I was very touched by this. Have discovered my 18 y.o. daughter (now freshman away at college) has been promiscuous since age 15, as well as indulged in vaping and alcohol. I struggle with the best way to help her as she is far away at university, I don’t want to control her but help her to not continue making poor choices. She is smart, talented and very beautiful, but has weak boundaries and low self-esteem. What can I do to help her? Some of her rebellious behavior is acting out—-as her father and I have had a troubled marriage. While she is legally adult, she has a long way to go before she is an adult making responsible choices.
I pray for her to get to a place of understanding that sex and drugs are not a way to gain personal self-esteem.
Note that she has mild ADHD, and some anxiety/derealization.

Vermithrax on

Your list of suggestions has one important mistake: You should teach your sons and daughter the same. i.E. your sons have the right to no as well and girls must understand that not means no as well. And no girls aren’t allowed to take advantage of a drunk boy as well.

Luke on

Let me get this out of the way—yes, BigTea, a 24-year-old man shouldn’t have been messing around with a teen girl. If he knew (we aren’t clear whether he did) then he was very scuzzy for what he did. But the author isn’t just complaining about being taken advantage of by older men—she seems to believe that even the boys her own age who engaged in consensual sexual relationships with her were somehow victimizing her.

To the author; I’m sorry—Mr. 24-year—old notwithstanding—I didn’t read a story about a victim. I read about an agent—a girl who dished it out as well as she took it. A girl who may have been used at times but who also used and then tossed aside her share of guys. A girl who was ultimately the author of her own world who now as a 42-year-old woman denies that she made choices and instead wants to play the put-upon damsel.

You say that you’ve suffered low self-esteem. Well I have good news—and this is sincere—I hope that will improve and it can. Self-esteem is far more fluid and dynamic, less deeply entrenched than we’ve often been taught. Self-esteem is basically just the reputation you have with yourself, with your own internal audience, and your internal audience can’t be fooled. Your internal audience knows you made your own choices. By facing that and taking responsibility for it I will submit that you’ll be on the path to a better reputation with yourself and a better self-esteem.

Bigtea on

To all the YouTube people. Honeybadger Allison is a nutcase. Expecting a 13 to 15 year old to have the experience to stand up for herself when confronted by adult (remember these men are 18 to 24) is unfair. These men are completely in the wrong.

Allyson on

I’m not alone in this painful nightmare anymore.🙏

Erin on

Thank you, thank you for this. You wrote the piece I wanted to write, but much better and more powerfully.

Marigny Goodyear on

Hi everyone. Thank you all for your comments. I am unable to reply to anyone individually due to the way my blog is formatted but I so appreciate all of your comments and support. Love and light to you all.

Paula on

Wow very powerful words. I’m pleased that your’re now starting to find your feet and your voice. Sexual abuse generally occurs at an age where the child is very young and is craving love and attention and is therefore easily swayed to believe that their abuser (normally a relative or close family friend) is actually providing love, attention and is appreciating them. However, as the child matures and gains some understanding as to what actually occurred – the toxic shame and self blame has the propensity to settle in deep to the core, due to the social taboos and ettiuette our culture has had in place. This in turn, for the most part is likely to be transmuted into teenage promiscuity, but really it is most likely to be what is called “revictimisation”. It is the subconscious minds’ attempt to recreate it’s connection of love and feeling wanted – even though this connection is untrue but it has already been conditioned and connected.

On a conscious level we know in our heart and soul that this is not the case and definitely not the outcome we desire or want. This is where drugs and alcohol step in to drown out the nagging conscious thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, it’s purpose is a double edged sword – upon quietening our conscious thoughts and feelings it gives the subconscious mind the upper more benevolent hand and it will twist and distort our conscious view of ourselves once sober. This ensures the continuation of the downward spiralling effect of substance abuse and dependancy, until our soul has had enough and the suicidal ideation creeps in. It is this point where we decide to exit or to expose and fight our demons. This is when we grow and blossom and we need to find a way to reach this point sooner rather than later.

You are not alone in your quest. There is probably more like you and I then there is not, unfortunately. Hopefully in the not too distant future it will be the other way around. It is fortunate that the social taboo surrounding sexual abuse and unwanted sexual acts/attention is changing, but the onus of proof still falls upon the victim. One wrong date, time and/or place and the abuser walks free. Thank you for sharing and helping to give others the opportunity to self reflect and to grow from your story.

Kennedy on

That was a hard read. Much of it was exactly my story. Thank you for having the guts to put it out there. I see you have already gotten the standard loser dude comments. So predictable.

A on

You are so brave. This is a huge issue for boys and girls all lost without proper, caring, honest, guidance and lack of connections or even understanding when faced with making poor decisions or the resultant deep emotional distress. This article will enable many to open a much needed conversation with their teens. As a teacher and a mother I thank you so much. As a human being with a mixed bag of experiences, I thank you for the most vulnerable parts of my being. You have made your mark on the world with your generosity and honesty. Be proud of that – it should help to lessen the pain of bad memories because you have turned it around. It made you who you are and has helped many no doubt.

Stephen on

Thank you for this eloquent, personal call for action. As a parent and at work I am fortunate enough to be in the position of educating people about what you raise here. To me this is the social issue of our time. For those who may struggle to understand the problem of sex with underage girls / young people, try removing sex from the issue, and see this as a form of bullying /physical assault, and a clear example of someone abusing their power over someone who is weaker. To understand power imbalances, imagine a grouo of adults using fear and violence to get a person to work for them for free. Fundamentally and utterly wrong. That’s why sexual assault with minors is illegal and in my jursisdiction comes with a max. 14 year jail term.

Leann Trowbridge on

Thank you so much for this. I have been unraveling similar experiences and their consequences this season, as well. I was incredibly lucky to stumble into ranks with the riot grrl and punk post-feminist movement in college and became politicized early. Recent events have shown me that I still have lots to learn at 45. I also have two daughters, and will fight as hard as I can for them to find the voice I didn’t have as a teen. Sending love to you and your family.

Stephanie on

Oh how I wish I was as brave and courageous as you are. You have written a story so similar to my own. The shame and guilt for needing love from a man so desperately that I would never say no. Thank you for sharing your story.

A Guy That Made Mistakes Like Yours on

“that whatever boy makes her feel pressured or uncomfortable is NOT a good person and will never make a good partner because in reality, he doesn’t care about her, he only cares about finding sexual release”

This is as damaging as the logic which landed us in these positions. I associate with in more than a few ways, but I was doing it for almost all the same reasons so be careful with that shaming. you do admit and quite a few places that your motivations were off, but that statement doesn’t leave room for anybody else to be guilty of the same, at least not anybody of the male sex and that you would qualify it as a gender issue at all is also a bit shortsighted in this context though I get where you’re coming from and I can’t imagine how hard it was to put this together so thank you for doing it.

sarah on

This article helped me come to terms with my own sexual assault. Thank you for articulating what has been pushed down and never dealt with my entire life. This article has given me so much peace and closure and allowed me to start healing. Thank you.

San on

Hi,
I’m also going to have my grands read your article and will have a discussion after.

Thank You,
san

San on

HI, Thank you for sharing your process on this life experience and how you are healing and discovering more about yourself. Our society needs to treat male, female individuals with truth honesty, information about self care – love, sexual safety with ourselves, others. I have male , female grandchildren, and have conversations with them about interactions with individuals , use correct book topic about sexuality, anatomically biological pictures. Talk about addictions, alcohol misuse, along with other interests, coping skills, what makes a person choose the drug of choice to calm the pain, insecurity that they feel. We need both sexes to appreciate and get along discuss, trust , develop friendships to stop the way we stereotype male, female roles that haven’t worked . Teenage years are tumultuous have conversations , get to know their friends, parents of their friends, be the adult they can confide in.
Thank you for sharing, starting this conversation we can change 1 person at a time to make this world a better place to live in.

SB on

My life is a shadow of what it could have been because I was afraid to say “yes” well into adulthood. Women “give”, more specifically, “give up”, and men “get”, and I couldn’t handle being seen as conquered. I lived the much-less-bad, through-the-looking-glass version, and that’s why I believe every word you wrote.

Men are barely trained to take responsibility for their own actions, much less anyone else’s. They really do not understand what it’s like to be held responsible for how people see them or treat them because they haven’t been marinated in it.

Chet’s comment made me glad that I don’t know him, but it was nothing we haven’t heard before. Minimizing and dismissing the chasm that lies between 13 and 18 does nothing to curb naive predators. What you wrote here will actually help. Thank you.

Alice on

Thank you so much for sharing this. I too was a promiscuous teen and was looking for love in any way I could. I have felt tremendous shame about the way I went about it. I never knew that I could say no. It is all coming up again with Kavagnaugh and the #metoo movement. I take responsibility for my choices and try to forgive. It does effect my everyday life in sub conscious ways and I struggle a lot.
Excellent suggestions for men to teach their sons and daughters about consensual sex. I hope more fathers take this into account. Thank you again for having the courage to share this.

Michael Arkin on

Wow, that was powerful! I’m so sorry you have suffered so.

Sex is such a complicated subject. I agree that taking advantage of a girl made vulnerable by alcohol or drugs is wrong. It is damaging and hurtful. It is abusive.

Do you know that young men are also vulnerable. Many think that sex means love and that they can’t get love unless they are bonding through sex? Do you know that some of us never felt love from our parents? Many parents are addicted to substances, have mental illness. Maybe were never bonded to their parents. Maybe sex has been the only bonding a vulnerable Guy has ever had

No matter who I had sex with over six decades, it never stuck. No woman ever stayed with me emotionally forever. After all, I never learned relationship skills from my parents. All I ever had was sex and we know sex is only part of the glue.

I don’t want you to think I’m a great guy. I did some bad things – treated some people wrong ( maybe not as badly as you were treated but badly nonetheless). I regret those bad things but
I can’t go back and change them

So what did I do? I managed to figure out most things by the time my second family came along. I taught my children well. They have shown me they were
Listening by living the lives they do.

Bless you for sharing your story

Michael

Rob on

If you are going to teach out sons the above lessons, also make sure to teach your daughters to fight their instinct to date hypergamously. One of the side effects of the feminist induced breakdown of the family unit, and thus the hookup culture, that the author bemoans above- is that women tend to date high status men. This allows a smaller proportion of alpha males to get sexual access with a lot of women, and then women feel used when those men don’t stick around. Female vanity is the reverse side of the coin of male aggression, and society is better off for keeping both in check.

Dave Bernstein on

Thank you for telling your story. Your guidelines on what to teach my kids are perfect. I encourage you to publish then in other forums for fathers to use. For example — never, ever have drunken sex with a first-time partner is such a specific, easy-to-follow rule to remember.
I wish I’d had them from age 17 to 24 and not have to second-guess if I was pursuing someone too hard or not hard enough. And wish I’d had them 10 years ago when my first daughter went through her teen years.
But now I’ve got detailed examples to give to my next teenage daughter and also for my adolescent son. They’re straight-forward enough to have a conversation that, while inevitably uncomfortable just by the nature of the subject, won’t make it THAT uncomfortable.

Paul on

Thanks so much for writing your story. I’m having a daughter in six weeks and I’ve been unsure what I can and should say to her, so it’s really helpful to read your words about exactly what you think should be said from a father to a daughter!
And I’m sorry for Chet’s comment, I think they’ve missed the main message of the piece.

65 and they're all gone on

Dead anonymous,
I’m now 65and my phone no longer rings. It’s been about fifteen years since I’ve “Put out”, and that’s what I now call it! You so eloquently wrote my story. I, even as an adult, thought when a man wanted to sleep with me he loved me and we would eventually marry. I was very, very, wrong.. I now have the best relationship I have ever had with Jesus Christ, and as for my family? It’s huge!!! I have the entire body of Christ! God is good! Praise God!!! 😊

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Quarantine Week Three: Why I’ve Abandoned My Home for My Van

Emotional Phases of the Pandemic (so far):
One – Preparation
Two – Positivity/Optimism
Three – The calm before the storm
Four – Irritability
Five – And now I live in my van

 

So, what’s everyone up to this week?  Are we still at peace with the situation or have we crossed over into Emotional Phase Four of isolating with my family, or as I’m referring to it, Phase “I thought I had my shit together but naw, I was just avoiding everything by cooking, cleaning, and freezing food, and now I clearly see that I’m approaching irritable at best and ‘everything you do is meant to hurt me’ at worst.”     

With Phase One, came preparation.  As a person who runs anxious, I was preparing on the early side, as I saw the doomsday scenario unfolding.  Three weeks ago, I had made copious trips to the grocery, cooked gumbo, Bolognese, veggie soup, and frozen mucho foodo.  We had TP, cleaning supplies, dried goods, frozen goods…we were good to go. 

When at Phase Two, I held my optimism dear.  I was turning towards art and creativity and wanting to inspire others to do the same.  I started an artists’ group on the Mighty Book of Face called “QuARTantine”, where we could all share the art we’re making at this time, which is now over 100 artists strong.  Yes, we may have to be in our homes, but the introvert within us was silently cheering, as we hunkered down to watch movies and make art. 

After preparation and optimism, came Phase Three, aka the calm before the storm.  I got into a “wipe down” routine with the kids.  Instead of "happy" hour, we have "wipey" hour (which doesn’t even pretend to sound as fun).  To their credit, the teens are being very helpful and not complaining about the extra chores around the house.

I made art, wrote, and tried to get comfortable with the quiet, and the mood swings that were (and still are) occurring in my house.  I slept, did laundry, made lists.  All-in-all, I felt like I was doing a lot of pacing around. 

Being a native New Orleanian, Phase Three can be compared to the laying low feeling of waiting for a hurricane to arrive, and also the community togetherness that we experience after one passes.  Not many cars on the road.  People out and walking around, waving to each other from porches and cars.  Everyone just hunkered down for the storm’s arrival, while simultaneously interacting as if it was already over. Tres weird. 

Here is where Phase Four is coming in.  The storm hasn’t arrived yet.  Either that, or I’m just not used to a quiet storm.  It’s as if the feeling of anticipation that comes right before a hurricane is just lingering around, teasing us. 

Well, I don’t much like being teased and so it makes sense that Phase Four is coming with a storm surge of irritability, and short fuse pressure system.  When, “Go fuck yourself,” becomes the response that wants to come out of your mouth for about 95% of situations, it’s probably time to reassess a few things.  

So that’s where I’m at today. I’m choosing to take a little bit of space.  Our van is coming in handy, and while the smell of surf wax is making me long for the waves, being in a space that is separate from everyone else feels like a dang spa day.  

 

We just have to find the comfort wherever it is right now. 

 

On a creative note, I was attempting to paint something “meaningful” during this time, but it wasn’t really working out…my brain just can’t really process it all yet, I think.  So, I lightened everything up by creating some coloring pages for you to print out and have fun with. 

The lightness of them is cheering me up immensely, and I have to admit, going back to working with only black and white is freeing.  Similar to the stay-at-home order, less options equal more simplicity, meaning less energy needs to be put towards decision making.  *Deep breath…We just have to find the comfort wherever it is right now. 

Expect to see more of these coloring pages, like this one at top, in the weeks to come.  I’ll be emailing them out to my Artventure community each week, as well.  (Click here to join and receive my coloring pages once a week via email.)

So, what phase of isolation are you in?  In the comments below, let me know, and tell me one action you’re taking to practice good self-care. 

Apparently, I’m at the beginning of Phase Five, which is Phase “I now live in a van down by the river, and I do it in the name of peace and sanity”.  Have a great week.  I’ll be chillin’ here:

Marigny Goodyear Art Van Life

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure.  

How the Pandemic is Actually Calming My Anxiety the Fuck Down

When the shit has already hit the fan, there’s not much to worry about anymore.

 

I’d like to do a study.  How many people out there, who consider themselves to be content and calm individuals in their day-to-day life are freaking the fuck out right now?  Now, how many people who are anxious 95% of the regular time, are actually finding that their anxiety/depressive tendencies have lessened now that we are in uncharted waters?

Now, I don’t want to piss you or the internet off by seeming cold and/or insensitive, and that is certainly not my intention, but after these past ten days of isolation, I have actually been finding myself feeling less anxious and (I hate to even say it) but rather liberated.

I feel terrible even admitting this as I know that the coronavirus is causing illness and death all over the world. Please don’t take my words as me saying that I don’t find sadness, frustration, disappointment, anger, and helplessness within this situation.  I do.  Believe me. I feel ALL the feelings right now. 

But hear me out…I am one whose brain has a tornado of “what ifs” cycling at turbo speed most of my waking time.  Most of the “what ifs” have to do with myself, my business, my family, my insecurities, my shortcomings, etc.  I’m a worrier.  That’s what I do.  So, you would think that during a pandemic, I would be crazy with worry.  I’m not. 

 

Over the past week, I have been getting calmer and calmer.

 

Over the past week, as I’ve been getting calmer and calmer, and I have been thinking about why this is. Last Fall, I discussed that anxiety can be quite helpful in a crisis.  Part of the reason is because when things are in chaos externally, my brain that normally cannot focus on every option that is spinning inside tends to slow down (or maybe outside has sped up and less contrast makes a clearer vision...I'm not sure).  I can see all of the things that need to get done and act accordingly.

In this particular situation, that meant that I had the bulk of my grocery shopping done and I had weeks of frozen meals prepared about two weeks ago.  In a crisis, I am definitely someone you want on your logistics team.  This did not surprise me. 

What did surprise me is the feeling of freedom that has been creeping in, especially within the past 5 days or so.  It’s totally counter intuitive!!!  During a quarantine, I feel free?  I mean WTF is wrong with me?  I’m coming to the understanding that there is nothing wrong with me.  In fact, moments like these may be exactly what I was born for.

 

In a crisis, I am definitely someone you want on your logistics team.

 

Here is what I’ve discovered:  Prior to this new reality, I worried about everything.  I felt I was a failure in my day-to-day life, with few exceptions.  I was constantly battling a negative internal dialog that told me I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t do enough, and that I would never be “successful”…whatever the hell that means, or meant...

Most of what that horrible voice in my head did was compare me to others, and definitely tied money to success, which I never seemed to have enough of.  In that life, I always felt out of place.  I always felt that what I was doing what just a little bit “off”.  I questioned my ability to contribute to the world and I was filled with fear about EVERYTHING.  

I’m still scared, don’t get me wrong, but here in this new reality, everyone is scared.  No one is sure what this new reality means, how things will change, and what their roll might be within it.  Financial situations that were once solid are now unsure.  Job security is uncertain.  In fact, the only thing that seems certain is that we are in for one hell of a shift.  We just don’t know how big or to what extent that shift will manifest.

 

Here in this new reality, everyone is scared.  Everyone is unsure.  No one knows what will happen next.

 

Now, the rest of the world knows what it is like to live in my head.  I’m comfortable with terror, because I live in it most of the time.  I can relax in the chaos, because I have spent the past seven years learning to find the silver linings within it.  I can find solace in cooking a bunch of food because I am used to finding solace in the small things that I can control.  The rest, I just have to surrender to. 

As you know, I love to surf.  Part of the reason that I connect with surfing is because there is nothing like a wall of water barreling towards you to zap you into the present moment.  In the past, I have referred to surfing as “jet fueled mindfulness”. When I’m in the water, I don’t think about my day-to-day worries that spin in my head all day long.  All I know is that I have to take action in order to deal with the approaching wave.

That is why I feel comfortable in this new reality.  We are all in an ocean of unknowingness.  The one thing we seem to all agree on, is that there are more waves coming.  I have not been thinking about this Summer, or next Fall.  I have been thinking about today, and tomorrow.  Just as when I’m surfing, I am being forced to live in the moment.

 

I can relax in the chaos, because I have spent the past seven years learning to find the silver linings within it.

 

The whole world has slowed down.  We, for once, are all recognizing a global situation that effects all of our communities.  We don’t know what will happen next and in fact, I’m not sure that our monkey brains can even process thinking about it. 

We have reduced our need for control down to toilet paper, canned goods, and cleaning supplies.  I believe that's why there is panic shopping.  It's one thing that we can control.

I don’t feel alone or apart from everyone anymore.  I don’t feel like my actions are at all “off”.  I am certain in my abilities to plan forwardly, while living presently.  For instance, I foresee that having a veggie garden may be very helpful in the future, and I know that to get started, I need only pick where that garden will be placed and bring in some soil and get some seeds.  Step one, step two, step three…

The chronic worry in my brain that never turns off has quieted.  The anticipation feeling of butterflies in my tummy is gone.  It’s as if I was worrying for the entire world, and now the world has taken it over for me so I can be a source of strength and simply continue to DO.   Today on my walk, I actually thought to myself, “This...this right here may be what I have been waiting for.” 

Crazy, huh?  I hope I don’t sound like some ignorant, myopic, insensitive person.  It is definitely not my intention.  I do think that this situation is going to bring up conflicting feelings for everyone.  All I want to do in this moment, is honor them all. 

Does any of this make sense to you?  Has the pandemic created new feelings that maybe you’re unsure of?  In the comments below, tell me one of those feelings. 

I do feel deep in my heart of hearts, that we are going to be ok.  That our community separation and isolation will only serve to, oddly, bring us closer together.  That we will have a greater appreciation for each other and all of our talents, especially the ones that perhaps don’t get honored regularly enough. 

I’ve never in my life been happy about my spinning hamster wheel, endless ticker tape of thought, tornado brain.  Right now, I’m 100% grateful for myself, just as I am…and that may be a first. 

I am also aware that I need to cherish this moment as I'm sure my perspective will be marred eventually.  I'm also aware that I am blessed in this life to be able to have this perspective right now.  I'm going to hold onto as long as I can and accept when it changes into whatever it will be next.  Who knows?  Maybe it will stick around a while.  

 

The image at top is a detail from Derby Day, 12"x12", Mixed Media on Birch Board. 

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure. 

 

 

 

 

  

Join the Great QuARTantine of 2020!

During these uncertain times, it is important to continue to express ourselves. Music, art, poems, essays, comedy, monologs...I want to see it all.  I've just begun a quARTantine.

 

Isn’t uncertainty fun? I’m sitting here at the computer, and I’m used to words flowing from my brain to my fingers with ease.  Today, I’m having trouble figuring out what to say. 

We are in uncharted territory.  On Saturday, the teenagers were still asking me about future plans and my response was, “We’ll see.  It’s day to day at this point.” Now I feel like it’s minute to minute.  We went from no gatherings of more than 250 people, down to 25 in four days.  

The feelings I’m having now can only be compared to the feelings that I had in the weeks/months after Hurricane Katrina when uncertainty was the biggest obstacle in our path.  Last Friday, when shit started getting real, I felt as though there were jolts of electricity in the sides of my belly.  It occurred to me that the only other time I’ve felt that was after the Big K.

 

We are in uncharted territory.  

 

I feel a bit lost, like I’m roaming in an unknown land.  I kind of wish our local government would just shut everything down.  Being ordered to stay home would make decision making much easier. 

All my zombie apocalypse grocery shopping and food cooking is done.  Today, I thought I would get a good work day in, but instead had to deal with a number of people I know freaking out.  In truth, I was probably combatting their freak outs with my own freak out, but hey, I’m trying. 

The hard truth is that we don’t know much.  We are faced with an unprecedented situation, much like we were when our city was filled with water.  At least then we could flee the city…

I keep thinking about myself, constantly talking about searching for the beauty within the chaos.  It’s so hard to think of a bright side or silver lining right now. People are sick and dying and I have trouble making light and I’ve been slowly but surely getting irritated with memes that are making fun of the situation (although that didn’t stop me from creating a pandemic playlist on Spotify). 

But in an effort to practice what I preach, here is a list of ten silver linings to quarantining, (yet I admit that this list is more applicable for an introvert than an extrovert). 

  1. No more awkward run ins with people I don’t want to talk to at the grocery.
  2. Much less grocery store errands in general.
  3. No more traffic.
  4. Dolphins have returned to the Venice Canals.
  5. China’s emissions are at zero.
  6. Our global footprint as a whole, will reduce.
  7. More time with the teenagers.
  8. I’ll finally be able to organize the garage.
  9. I won’t get behind in weeding my yard.
  10. Art is not cancelled

 

Being a New Orleans girl, I’m not surprised that my first instinct last week was to find solace in cooking lots of food. But with that done, I’ve decided that art is my answer.  I can’t control much of anything right now, but I did order a ton of canvases last month in preparation to make my “breathe” series. 

“Breath” is taking on a new meaning now, and the idea for these paintings has changed.  For one, I’m going to enlist my hubbie and the two teenagers to help.  I thought that having an ongoing art piece in the studio for anyone to contribute to at any time, would be a great way to pass some time at home.

My first concept, which we are going to start this afternoon, will be a collaboration aiming to give all in my household an outlet to express all the feelings they are having.  It will be an ongoing piece and I'll keep all of the art supplies out and easily available for anyone to jump in at anytime.

Aside from that, I’m going to go for long walks, meditate, practice Yoga, write, paint and I’m thinking that since we’ll all be in isolation, I’ll make some videos to send out to my community.  I can make this quarantine a quARTantine. 

I’d love it if you would join me. For those of you on Facebook, I have started a private group called “QuARTantine”.  This group is a place to share your art, craft, music, essays, poems, monologs, skits, etc. while we're under quarantine. It looks like we're going to be inside for a while. The good news is art is NOT cancelled.

 

Let's inspire each other during this time and stay in touch with our creative nature.  CLICK HERE to join the group.

 

If you’re not on Facebook, please email your art to me at Marigny@MarignyGoodyearArt.com and let me know if I may share it to the QuARTantine page.  

We may be having to isolate, but we are not alone.  Hang in there.  Stay well and be smart. We got this.

 

With love,
Marigny

 

The image at top is from my Control & Chaos series which will be offered for sale next week.  Marine Layer, 48"x48", Acrylic & Paper on Canvas.  I know that times are tough, but I've decided to press on with my sale.  After all, this series is all about controlling what we can, and giving the rest to the Universe.

If you still have disposable income, please help me keep my doors open by purchasing some artBecome an Artventure VIP and get early access to the sale by CLICKING HERE.

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Looking Back Can Propel Me Forward

When I’m not sure what to do next, my personal history can act as a guide.

 

Happy Thursday to you!  I hope that you are staying sane, healthy, and happy. Lots of crazy things are happening in our world right now and self-care is paramount.  Since all of our near future travel plans have been derailed, it seems that now is a good time to hunker down at home and make lots of art.

One problem: art has been kind of hard for me to make recently.  In the past couple of months, I have written about having trouble gaining any sort of 2020 momentum.  There is no doubt to me now that I am in the midst of a greater transition than I initially thought.  I am having to remap how I work, my goals, and my need to keep control over the future.

 

I am the type of person who once implements a plan, has a hard time diverting from it.

 

I know that we don’t have much control over what happens to us in the future, however, I am the type of person who once implements a plan, has a hard time diverting from it. It’s like the channel gets burned in my brain and I do whatever I can to make that particular plan happen.

Well…simply put….my plan wasn’t working.  I have to be willing to surrender to the way things are happening, which is what I wrote about last week.  I feel amazing to have made that choice and in fact, a few things are already opening up to me in new ways.  All I had to do was make room for them in my stubborn brain.

One thing in particular that I’ve been struggling with is creating new art work.  I have completed one painting in 2020. Compared to the 92 pieces I made in 2019….well…I have a bit of work to do.  Problem is that I burnt myself out so bad at the end of last year, that I don’t feel particularly inclined to do anything specific artistically.  In fact, the idea of getting back into the studio feels pretty daunting, and that is super unusual for me and my art.

 

Art is a practice in meditation and it is extremely calming to me. 

 

I know that for me, being creative every day is a powerful tool.  It enables me to get into that space where thinking stops, time flies, and my inner most thoughts pour out of my fingers and into whatever creative project I’m working on.  Art is a practice in meditation and it is extremely calming to me. As you know, I tend to run on the anxious side…

When I first found the art program at my high school, I fell in love with drawing.  I used mostly pencil and loved the way the graphite looked on the paper.  Whenever I tried to add color, I was unhappy with how it changed the initial drawing. 

I have always been a collector of children’s books and especially the amazing visions of Chris Van Allsberg, most famously known for The Polar Express and Jumanji.  His illustrations are lush and vibrant and most of them are done in nothing but pencil. 

Seeing his success made me realize that there was nothing wrong with using only pencil.  I was hooked.  I would bring my sketch pad and some photos to my favorite coffee shop and draw for hours.  It was many of those drawings that got me into art school.

 

Marigny Goodyear Art Pencil DrawingMy first pencil drawing in a long while of my happy place, in progress.

 

Fast forward to now.  I’ve been walking in and out of my studio looking at my supplies, trying to find a glimmer of inspiration to no avail.  Then I saw my pencils.  I pulled up some of my favorite beach photos and began drawing one.  I haven’t done this in a long time and it feels like an old friend.

I’m at the point in my personal transition that I see a glimpse of a new routine developing.  Now that there is a work in progress on my art table that requires no preparation beyond picking up a pencil, I’ve been getting back into a creative groove.

 

By looking back to something that I once absolutely loved to do, I’m re-discovering some passion.


Now, I’m aware that my hands cramp up faster, my eye sight is not as good as it was when I was younger, and I may have to invest in one of those magnifying lights, but that’s ok.  I’m willing to adapt.  The important thing for me to remember is that by looking back to something that I once absolutely loved to do, I’m re-discovering some passion, which 2019 nearly took all of. 

We all know how it feels to be “stuck”.  Perhaps there is wisdom in looking backward in order to create new solutions to move us forward.  Does that make sense to you?  I’d love for you to tell me, in the comments below, about a time that you gain new insight from your past.  

I’ll share the finished drawing soon. In the meantime, above is a painting from my Control & Chaos series, which I’ll be offering at the end of the month.  Destroyer, 24"x24", Mixed Media on Panel.  It’s funny, I’ve always thought of the “control” being the centering part of this series, but now that I’ve surrendered, I’m seeing quite an amount of wisdom in the “chaos” part.  That may be where the pearls lie...

 

CLICK HERE to become an Artventure VIP and get early access to the Control & Chaos sale.

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure. 

How I Find Strength in Surrender

 

Sometimes the strongest decision we can make is to surrender and let the Universe take over.

 

Do you know how it feels to be derailed from your plans because...well...life happens?  For about three years now, I have been on a pretty singular track of painting, writing, and growing my art business.  I have made great strides, figured out lots of strategies that DON’T work, and a handful of things that do.  I have been working towards the goal of being a successful independent business owner, which has been a dream of mine since college.

Here I am, going about my day to day, working my butt off developing and implementing plans to grow my business. You know…just continuing on with the status quo. Then life decided that those plans, the ones that I have put my heart and soul into for years, may not be what I should be doing right now. Currently, it seems life has other plans for me.

Now, I’m not saying I’m giving up on my dreams.  Au contraire! I am still painting, writing my blog, and marketing and selling my art.  However, the pace I was going at is no longer realistic.  I can’t work as I have been with the extra monkey wrenches that have been thrown at me over the past six months.  It just ain’t happening.

What was happening is that I was trying to do it all, and working myself into an anxious, depressed, exhausted state, and that isn’t good for me or anyone around me.  I have been taking great care of myself over the past month or so in order to feel healthier, but also to shift my perspective on what I “should” be doing right now. 

 

Life is a series of chaotic situations stacked on top of each other, periodically broken up by moments of peace

 

Last Fall, as the craziness descended, I would get a twinge of angry butterflies in my stomach when I thought about my work.  The victim in me thought, “Why me?  Why am I the one getting derailed?”  My stubborn side dug its heals in and said, “I won’t let it happen! This is my work and it’s too important for my attention to be elsewhere!!!” Then I got tired.  So. Very. Tired.  And then I saw the truth.

It's simple: I am needed in other areas of my life right now.  Without starting a heated rampage about how this type of stuff always seems to fall on women, I will say that I have made peace with surrendering to the situation at hand.  Before, I considered surrender to be a decision made in weakness.  Now, surrendering feels like the strongest decision I could possibly make. 

The truth is that life is a series of chaotic situations stacked on top of each other, periodically broken up by moments of peace.  The sweet spot, I’m realizing, is to be able to find those moments of peace while the chaos is occurring.  The alternative is to be in the chaos and only see the chaos, but frankly, the idea of that makes my eyes feel tired. 

My ego clings to an idea of what I think I should be doing, should have accomplished, and should be working towards.  When in resistance, my ego is throwing a fit, wondering why the world is working against it all the time. 

My ego is inflexible, wants what it wants when it wants it, and loathes those that get in the way.  “Stay the course, no matter what!” is my ego’s mantra. And guess what? That also happens to be the easiest path to frustration and self-victimizing because life fucking happens to all of us, unscheduled, and at inconvenient times. 

 

Surrender is the path to freedom.

 

In times like these, surrender is the path to freedom.  Surrender will allow inward flexibility to develop. It will show me that all is not lost, no matter how big of a temper tantrum my ego throws. In fact, it allows me to see impossible situations through new eyes. 

If I allow surrender to guide me, I create space for new and endless paths to show themselves. We think of surrender as giving up when really surrender is peace in action. 

Now that I have consciously surrendered to my situation, I feel more at ease.  I feel open to the idea that perhaps this is actually the road I’m supposed to be on, and not so much a diversion.  What if where I was before was the diversion and now, like an omnipotent Siri, the Universe has now kindly rerouted me? 

My Hubbie asked me today what I wanted accomplish in the next ten years.  My response? “Whatever the Universe wants me to.”  I understand that could be a rather infuriating answer to some, but I am having trouble thinking about the next month.  Who knows what will be thrown our way in the next ten years… 

Crisis occurs at some point or another to all of us, and crisis doesn’t care about how full our calendars are, that we have vacations planned (hello Coronovirus travel restrictions), or that we had the next year of our lives mapped out (my 2020 revenue and marketing plans in their original forms have been thrown out the window at this point). I mean, the phrase, "shit happens", didn't come from nowhere.

 

It is what it is.

 

Over the years and multiple times, my oldest and dearest friend has said to me, “It is what it is.” It is up to us to either accept what we are given to work with, or continue to bang our heads against the wall as we sink our claws in to our best laid plans while refusing to adapt to our lives.  In a way, the peace is the chaos. 

A strong current is downright hellish when your swimming against it. But if you stop fighting towards that original destination and let the current carry you, you feel nothing but an effortless motion as you drift towards a mysterious place, possibly not on your original map. 

If it is truly all about the journey, not the destination, then it doesn’t matter where we end up.  It only matters how we feel while getting there.

Think back to a time in your life where you felt derailed.  How did it work out for you?  Were you able to settle into to the change or did you stick your original plan, come hell or high water?  In the comments below tell me the first reaction you have to the idea of letting it all go.

  

At top is from my Control & Chaos series.  The Bus, 48”x48”, Acrylic & Paper on Canvas.  Sometimes the way out is to get on the bus, let someone else drive and stop thinking so much. For more info, and to get on the VIP waitlist for the Control & Chaos sale, click here.

 

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure. 

Calling in Suffering: How We Invite our Pain to the Party

Pain, anxiety, and suffering are the teachers within our lives, but do we actually call them in so that we grow?

 

Anyone else having trouble reading the news, or going on your social media feeds?  Every time I take a look at my newsfeed, I feel a deep sense of despair.  6-year-olds being arrested, Coronavirus, environmental doom, and the circus that is our current election… It’s extremely hard for me to be bombarded with the chaos of the world and not feel effected by it on one level or another. 

I am a highly sensitive person.   You know, the kind that cries during sappy commercials, while listening to music in my car, or sitting on my surfboard in the ocean.  I am exceptionally emotional.  Both the beautiful and the ugly side of life can slay me.  I used to say to myself that I shouldn’t let life affect me so deeply, but it’s simply how I’m wired.  I can’t change my feelings.  I feel what I feel.

 

I am exceptionally emotional. 

 

In the past, that used to frustrate the hell out of me.  As I’ve gotten older, I realize that there are some benefits from being so emotional.  In parenting, I can sense my daughter’s moods easily.  In friendships, I’m hyper aware of when my friends need help.  My anxiety actually makes me great in a crisis.  I can take a look at the chaos in a situation and break it down into achievable parts. 

I am able to feel myself so genuinely, that I can channel those feelings into writing, or painting.  I also understand and appreciate art and music to a point of feeling absolute bliss or sorrow, merely by taking a look or a listen. Sometimes a deep blue sky will shake my heart with gratitude.  I can’t help it.

I was having tea with a friend today who believes that we call in every experience in our lives.  Every single one.  Even the traumatic and horrible ones that may involve other people’s hurtful actions.  I was skeptical and wanted to know more. 

 

The more we want to learn, the more challenges that we will inevitably face. 

 

In a nut shell (because this was not a short conversation) she said that in our lifetimes, we have a need and desire to attain a certain amount of growth and that it is the hard stuff in life that are the catalysts for that growth.  The more we want to learn, the more challenges that we will inevitably face. 

I find this view interesting. It would mean that I called in all of the chaos in my life.  That is a rather hard pill for me to swallow, but the more she explained, the more it made sense.  I do consider myself a seeker... 

She went so far as to say that we have, collectively, called in the world as it is today for our own evolution.  That there is purpose behind it all.  Even though I feel conflicted by the theory, I must admit that I found some comfort in it.  It gave meaning to pain and suffering. 

My sensitive nature makes it so I am not usually able to sit idly by without questioning or considering “why”.  I can’t usually feel pain and sweep it under the rug.  I want to know where it comes from.  I am constantly looking for what I can learn from it.  If I am not searching for answers, I am sitting in pain.  Knowledge is my way out. 

I have always been of the mindset that I must let go of the things that I can’t control.  What if the things I have perceived as not being within my control, I have actually called in? What if my sensitive nature is like a super power that grabs onto certain types of pain that, in the end, will lead me to my own development.  

I agree that I learn the most from the painful situations in my life (as opposed to when everything is peachy).  But can I possibly reframe my perspective on pain to this extent? Did I call in the asshole driving next to me yesterday that flipped me off twice?  Did I call in my past drinking problem?  How about my issues with anxiety?  Today, I have so many questions.

Does this make any sense to you?  In the comments, I’d love to know the first reaction you have to the idea that we could actually invite all the pain in our lives. 

There is no question in my mind that the pain in our lives creates growth.  But until today, I looked at it as random occurrences that I happen to run into.  Instead, perhaps it is our sensitive natures hard at work, ready to embrace our next teacher.  Can I embrace pain and welcome it into my life, having faith that I called it here? 

I have a feeling I’m going to be thinking about this for a while.  I’m also oddly looking forward to the next painful experience I have, simply to see if I can separate myself from it long enough to wonder what I needed so bad that I summoned it in the first place.  Shit…maybe by typing the last sentence, I have invited it.  Oh Lawd.  I’ll report back on that one soon.  

 

 

The photo above is Beautiful Entropy, 36”x36”, Acrylic & Paper on Canvas.  It is from my Control & Chaos series which I will be offering for sale at the end of March.  To get first dibs to the sale, sign up for the VIP Waitlist by CLICKING HERE.

 
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes.  To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure.