I’ve been feeling small the last few days. Fragile. Young. Sensitive.
I want to be held, snuggled, tended.
And I’m tired. And weepy.
I’m fighting off a skin infection and I’ve had a busy couple months—that must be it.
Why must I always search for a reasonable explanation for feeling under par?
I’m disappointed to see how hard it still is for me to truly rest. Without anxiety or guilt.
To mother myself, with warm blankets, food that strengthens, loving words.
Apparently I still do not trust that my body knows what it’s doing and what it needs. That letting go of a week’s responsibilities will not make me into a lazy slob who will never do anything responsible ever again.
I know it’s ridiculous. We all have ups and downs—in a month, in a week, in a day—but somehow those times of feeling small, sensitive and fragile still seem shameful, illegitimate (unless, of course, I can find a “legitimate reason” for them).
Ok, in this culture we are addicted to productivity and strength–I know that. And we don’t respect our bodies, that’s true. Or mothers and mothering. Or our own cycles, or the cycles of nature. But something else is niggling at me.
A memory from last week flashes into mind: during an intuitive painting retreat a little girl emerged from within me, eager to paint, full of play, tantrums and great love. In fact, she embarrassed me by tearfully telling everyone there how much she loved them, that they were beautiful. And she insisted on painting big bubblegum-pink hearts on the canvas, decorating them with paint and glitter, declaring defiantly with pigment how strong those pink hearts were.
Declaring defiantly that love and delight are important, that SHE is important. That she should be respected! That she is enough!
I saw then that I haven’t always respected her, that I often keep her sweetest parts hidden, that I’m embarrassed and shy about her energy and tenderness, unsure how to integrate her rushing emotion with my “helpful facilitator” adult self (ironic as that is).
And if I’m uncomfortable with her joy, then I’m even more uncomfortable with her pain. When she needs me to take care of her.
Like this week.
I hear her frustration: “aren’t you ever going to get this? I need you now!”
I’m here. I’ll try to listen better. Let me hold you.
When we feel better, maybe we’ll make valentines.
I have not seen my inner child for quite some time. I got a glimpse of her while I was playing with my 2 month old grand-daughter. I wondered how I could teach this tiny spiritual being how to keep her essence in this crazy, over-stimulating world. Perhaps I can paint with her when she is a little older. I loved your words and paintings! Thanks for the inspiration.
Being with actual little ones is a great way to encourage our inner child to tumble out. Blessings to you, Tammy, as you become better acquainted with Her.
All your words, that paint painting pink hearts is all so brilliant. Thank you for letting that girl visit the page, visit the painting, showing her brilliance in vulnerable ways. Helping us to know that vulnerability is courage and it is brilliance. Your blogs vulnerability allowing all of us who read you to take steps closer to our own vulnerability and brilliance.
Thank you Anne.
Thanks for your comment Sarah–you’re absolutely right that vulnerability is courage and brilliance, I guess, yet so hard sometimes to let ourselves go there…
Anne, I just love this. I am just now realizing how much we had in common as we were processing that week. I too have trouble honoring my inner child, letting her play with dragons, weird elephants and get her hands dirty. It all just seems so silly and frivolous. But if I am honest with my self I need that silly, frivolity. It may look insane but it keeps me sane….lif that makes sense. HUGS, LOVE AND KISSES. I’m so honored to have met you and your sweet, tender self.
So glad it spoke to you Jennifer! I love this thought: “it may look insane but it keeps me sane.” Loved meeting you too and secretly delighted in your dragon, weird elephant and colorful painty hands. May we keep playing!
Anne, this touched me deep down in my heart. It’s so wonderful of you to write so genuinely and gracefully and share it with us. This leaves me with a desire to dig deeper and embrace what I haven’t before. New pieces to bring forward. How delightful.
I’m so happy it touched you, Nancy. How delightful for all of us when you bring those new pieces out!
Anne, I loved this and cried at the same time. I have been creating things with modeling clay to try to deal with the intensity of these first months of 2019, and my little girl is saying the same things: Don’t go away. Let’s do this together. I need you to be with me. When my sister took her own life long ago, her small daughter leaned into me and cried something that’s forever burned into my brain: “Why did she leave? I need her here.” May we both stay, breathe, and keep ourselves safe and warm.
Oh, Margaret, now I’m tearing up..what a hard image to hold all these years. May we listen to, enjoy, and dearly tend, all our children, whether inside or outside ourselves.
Oh, this is so sweet and so speaking to me. Thank you for your courage to say it all.
So glad it speaks to you Becca. Love to you!
Your paintings are amazing Anne. Have you ever thought of painting your own deck of cards? Maybe starting with the suit of hearts?
Thanks Marianne. No, the idea of painting and staying true to the energies of 78 cards is daunting.