I cried on the back road to Target.
I cried because the mean old thing called fear has been catching up, wrapping its arms around me like a stranglehold suffocating and silencing my wildest, most wonderful hopes.
I cried a little on the trip to find shelves to organize my paint (again).
Tears that said “not again”.
I’ve been hoping I was wrong about what I giddily decided was just right for right now.
I cried because my jaded conclusions drawn because of past hurts, harms, manipulative grooming and demands is putting me in the corner again.
I’ve been hoping I’ll hear they decided it was not right for me to paint and speak after all.
Then, I can sigh and sit quietly hidden in the identity that is me after all.
Alone and isolated, but safe on my own terms.
So, once the quiet tears stopped on their own, I reread the invitation to be photographed and have my artwork possibly featured with others in a future exhibit.
I reread, researched and respected the questioner, trusted it and him.
I said yes because my tears were not from fear, instead from fear that I may again be trapped in my decision to hide and that would mean
I wouldn’t go on.
It would mean ignoring how far God has brought me and that would be dishonorable.
Dishonoring myself and the one who made me to walk through doors I didn’t even knock on,
“You were not made to cower. You were made to create and to share what you make. You were made to be authentically brave.” me
Why do I write about such things, things like declining invitations because trauma triggers say “stay safe, stay humble, stay nothing, be nothing other than afraid and small”?
Because tears on the way to Target may be sweeter than you think, might be a tender gift.
Good tears, friends, very good.
I write because it helps me see the tears on the way to Target were not sad tears at all, rather than were cleansing, clarity, another swash of the trauma residual slate washed clean.
Tears that say okay, now
Take a breath, check your mascara, dab a little color on your lips.
Take a breath, say a secret prayer.
I assembled the shelves from Target remembering the time I felt so excited. I put the bed frame together for my newly relocated to Colorado son. He’d gone to run some sort of errands, returned to realize I’d done it all wrong.
This son of mine who invited his mama to accompany him cross country, the gift of this will not, does not, has not escaped me.
I lined all my pastels, pencils, watercolor acrylic and oil tubes of paint in their own places and threw the dried up paint away.
Then, I painted.
Not as planned or expected, but I painted.
I’ll paint tomorrow.
I’ll keep on.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15 KJV