Recently, I attended a workshop for PTSD. During that workshop I finished working on a paint by number that turned out really good. (Posted below) Because of my anxiety I needed to start something new so I did a watercolor of a couple flowers and gave that painting to a friend who was attending and she loved it. With more time left in the workshop I started to do a watercolor of this paint by number. I was surprised at how well it turned out. The thing is I was using a cheap plastic acrylic paint brush with only 5 watercolor colors. I was thinking how good it was looking as I worked on it. Normally, I do not think of myself as an artist, but suddenly in my inner being as I was painting, almost doodling out this woman by the sea, I realized that I am an artist. It was a revelation for me. I’ve been told I’m an artist, told I’m artistic, but never embraced that. I tended to look down when complimented or even turn my face away. I didn’t think someone like “me” could have talent. When a person has been abused, they will think less of themselves. I have persisted with painting because I love it. Not only have I gotten better, but I now recognize myself as an artist! The key was persistence and progressing. I kept at it. Anything we struggle with, or something good we can’t see in ourselves, will come to light in time.
There was a woman at this workshop who claimed she would never believe in herself. Others tried to encourage her. I asked her if she thought she would someday be open to considering the option to believe in herself. She said no. I was sad because this woman has potential and she is working in a helping field. Trauma causes people to not believe in themselves. I used to believe I deserve to die, yet I persisted in my healing. I believed i was so rotten, there was no hope for me and my end would be hell. I persisted in my healing. I’ve never wrote this or thought about it before just wring this, but guess what? I believe in myself. I believe in me.
I am all that made me. Not just my parents, but my experiences, my trauma, my life, what I have endured, and what I have overcome. A flower is not just a flower…it is all the things that made it be…the birds, the bees, the earth, sunshine and rain. Be all you can be, one step at a time. Continue, persist, grow, love.