Tag Archives: courage

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 352: Brave

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I don’t know if I can do this. Be brave.
I may not be strong enough. Be brave.
I don’t think I can cope. Be brave.
I might be fucking up everything. Be brave.
What if I can’t do it? Be brave.
What if I fail? Be brave.
What if I don’t survive? Be brave.
What if I forget how to be brave? What if I no longer want to be brave? What if being brave seems too difficult?

I’ll still be alright.
I don’t have to be anything.
I don’t have to say anything.
I don’t have to know anything.
I don’t have to do anything.
I don’t have to.

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SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 249: Courage

People tell me they think I have courage when I do things they are afraid of doing: shaving my head, posting personal stories online, painting in art battles, dancing in public. I don’t feel brave doing these things, at least, not anymore.

Now, my courage is needed for more ordinary things in my life: asking for help, speaking up for what I want, continuing to choose to love myself, even when I feel like shit.

To learn more about the SelfLove365 project, click here.
To join the SelfLove365 project, click here.

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 13: Bravery

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People tell me I am brave, often. Some of the reasons they give me are funny to me, and remind me that everyone has a different definition of bravery (among other words):

  • I’ve had close-cropped (3/8”) hair. This one I find really funny, since the comment that usually comes with it is, “Oh, I could never do that. My head is such a funny shape. You have the perfectly shaped head for that.” Hm. Really? How do you really know the shape of your head until you shave off your hair?
  • I posed nude for a figure drawing class.
  • I had twins. This reason kills me! As if I had any choice in the matter – how does (naturally) conceiving, birthing and raising twins make me brave?
  • I’ve posted self-portraits online, frequently.
  • I paint live at public events.
  • We traveled to Europe as a family (three kids).
  • I separated from my husband.

Now that I look at the list again, I suppose most of them did, at the beginning, require some amount of courage. Over the years, as I have done the things (that first scared me) more and more, they have become part of my comfort zone, requiring very little, or no, courage. So I no longer categorize them as “brave”. I can see how these things can be perceived as brave by others who haven’t done them, especially if they have a lot of fear about doing the activity.

Just for fun, here are some of my own recent acts of bravery:

  • Touching a tarantula.
  • Posting photos of my nude modelling session online.
  • Admitting to, and speaking up for, what I want.
  • Making attempts to be my own biggest supporter.

Why do you like these paintings, anyway?

My mother-in-law came over last night and made a sizeable dent in my supply of cards and paintings! The three paintings she bought were the ones that I struggled with the most. The two large ones (“Sometimes I feel stuck” and “Surrender”) were re-painted a few times, and hated a few times (or more), but when they were finished I ended up liking them (-ish). They weren’t my favourites, but I liked them enough. I continue working on paintings until they feel complete, not until I like them. I found it really interesting that my mother-in-law zeroed in on those three right away. Even at the Sophia Arts fall show and sale, most of the comments I received were about those paintings (the two large ones, anyway). Someone even wanted to buy one of them at the show! I find it really interesting how people respond to the paintings I make, particularly when I am not sure I even like them. Somehow, my least favourites end up being somebody’s favourites. It gives me the courage to bring everything to a show, because you never know what people will respond to! My guess is that it has something to do with the energy I have invested in the painting. I think some people are able to sense that when they look at a painting. This is part of why I don’t like to duplicate paintings for people – they will never have the same energy that was put into the original.

Without any good segue, I will also say that my children are almost all healthy again, thank goodness! Z’s fever finally broke after 4 days, and they are all back to school. Yay!