PAINTING MYSELF….

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Much of who I am has been lost much of my life.

Many of you may feel this, I do.

It doesn’t mean we have done nothing with our life, but it can mean much of what we have done in life, work and love has occurred more because of the belief systems we were brought up in: what others made us believe about ourselves and who we are.   With this understanding I wonder how many of us actually follow our true desires and passions? Or are we following what others expect of us or what we feel is responsible, sensible? Or even what reflects our own lack of self worth or an inability to break away from cultural and social expectations? In fact there can be a huge self deception or denial that this has happened: we are so used to be “other” me we forget to even question who we are. I started writing this weeks ago and it has taken time for me to feel what it is I actually want to write as I have a myriad of emotions attached to these thoughts and the journey of self discovery continues.

I have known for years I wasn’t who I really am, but have felt lost in the search, apathetic and despairing at times as I listened to voices in my head saying I wasn’t worth the effort. Thank God in between these moments were  gifts of clarity and a fighting spirit that told me there was something else and to keep searching. I prayed and then I was gifted a wonderful law of attraction when this picture popped up on Facebook a while ago: it grabbed my attention and I never did read any of the words that came with it, as just looking at it, feeling what it meant for me was enough. It sent me into hours of feeling grief: a deep sadness that I didn’t know who I was. I stared at the beautiful lady, an artist’s creation, but asleep and unaware that she was a work in progress. She was alive, but not living. Yet the artist continued to paint, to bring her more alive: maybe one day she would notice and wake from her dreams to dance across the canvas. Maybe one day I will, I thought.

But first I needed to feel, to feel the incredible sadness I felt that at 47 I still couldn’t identify fully which bits of myself were really me, the true me: not wounded me, not facade me, not the me everyone else thought or expected I should be. I have searched before, but now I realised I had been looking with my mind too much: positive thinking, doing, doing, doing, change your thoughts, but all without really feeling so a temporary change followed by denial and frustration with myself. So logically if my mind hadn’t worked it out enough to make a permanent change I needed to experiment with another way. I have been listening to Divine truth talks for just over two years now, but it has taken time to get past some of the confronting emotions they bring up in me. On a soul level I recognised that I had found something beyond what I had known before and that it wouldn’t leave me. I had been asking passionately for truth a year before and I wasn’t going to throw it out when it finally came. In the talks, Jesus constantly says we need to develop humility: a willingness to feel all of our feelings. God made us emotional beings and yet we live in a world of fear: one where the biggest fear is feeling. In fact I think we have a terror of it, so convinced are we that emotions that overwhelm us, might kill us. However, I believe, it is suppressing what we truly feels is what kills us.

So I have and continue to feel what has brought me to this point of not knowing myself and even though I have a good way to go some of the clouds have started to lift. First thing, was at least intellectually accepting first until I feel it, that I am not what those voices have told me. I am not a piece of crap, a worthless person: I am not the only one God can’t save. The voices after all are just the voices of other adults in my childhood and human in spirit form that have similiar beliefs to my parents who join in the emotional abuse: the voices are just other wounded humans, who because they are not willing to feel their own feeling project at children, like I was, and that I/ we carry through to adulthood. Until now I have not known how to quiet the voices. Of course when you see why they are still wounded and still needing to hurt others ( consciously or unconsciously) there is the clue: I NEED TO FEEL MY FEELINGS not to stay like them. I also need to believe GOD’S TRUTH ABOUT ME: I am unconditionally loved and loveable – a wonderful creation. I chose to at least accept these two things intellectually at first, and as I allow my emotions to be  felt I have started to feel these truths more in my soul: a tiny bit right now, but its a start.

So what emotions? Well we will all have our own journey with this, but for me the first part was a life time of suppressed anger. I have for two years been making excuses about feeling my childhood anger: on we haven’t got enough space, what about the neighbours etc etc . However, the truth is I have been so terrified of punishment, of not being seen as a good girl, I chose not to feel and release it. Now I go in my bedroom and beat the crap out of my bed and look I am still alive! AND no one punished me! AND a couple of times it has led me to tears of sadness. Step by step , layer by layer : anger, fear, grief. Praying for God’s help and God’s love. I have stubbornly been very self reliant all of my life ( it felt safer) , but now I am finally surrendering to the idea I want and need help. And if I want help why not go to the top guy/girl. Always better to ask help from someone more loving, more knowing, more truthful than yourself. Stuff self reliance, giving God reliance a go!

This surrender is now uncovering joy I haven’t felt for years, love I didn’t know existed and a gentle blossoming and feeling I matter and I might even have something to contribute. I am allowed to follow my passions and desires!  When I was younger I was made to feel I had to be responsible for others, I became a carer of my mother many times , as she struggled with life,  unhappy in her own unfulfilled dreams.  The projections and expectations were so high I believed I had to care for others, except myself: in fact anything I did for myself was just selfish. Sadly, many of us believe this and the world is full of those who believe they need to self sacrifice themselves versus those who have a deep sense of real self-entitlement. Both are wounded states, from deep insecurities and self- doubt. I shrank in these false beliefs, I got lost, and in recent years have left my shattered dreams at the bottom of an ocean of despair.

There have been times when I pursued dreams and I remember the feeling of aliveness and passion: sheer joy. Yet they didn’t seem to lead anywhere because at the end of them ( like the degree I did when I was 30) I was lost again. My sense of self has been too fragile and I believed I would never be good enough, not matter what I did. I was also filled with an overdeveloped sense of responsiblity to my son and others: it was easier to help others than myself: huge amounts of guilt. If I truly decided to help myself I would need to face the truth of what happened to me as a child, I would need to feel how unloved and unaccepted I felt: that was too painful. Like many of us, I didn’t want to feel that.

Now I do! But now I can feel it  ( work in progress!) , not deny it. If I feel it , it moves and it eventually moves out of me: e-motion. The more I experiment with this, the more I feel the benefits. This really does work. I am healing my relationship with myself  ( which includes my soul mate) and with my creator, my parent: God. I still have a huge amount to discover, but like any good scientist, I now realise, things change because you don’t give up just because you have a bad day.  I feel like a I am crawling out of my chrysalis and God is holding my hand. Still scared, but not trying not to live in my fear.

Every day I grab more moments to find myself. The other day I had to shop for new clothes and as I tried on clothes I went on quite a journey working out what clothes were really me, tuning into feelings of expectations from others, my fears of what others would think and my small wounded self. Interesting how a shopping trip can become a new trip: finding me. Feeling my way round I found some great clothes.

So now I am an artist of myself and God provides the canvas……….. layer by layer, brushstroke by brushstroke……. here I come…..

With love to my brothers and sisters,

Maxine Bell

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