On Grief, Grace & Grit

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If you've been rocking with me for a while, you're aware that earlier this year in May, I lost my younger brother, William to suicide. (at least now I can say his name). He was 32 years old. The healing process from this tragedy has left me with a lot to learn; so many feelings to process, and a greater understanding of who I am and this ever so complex thing called Emotional Wellness. 

The driving phrase I chose for 2017 was "Cultivating Radiant Joy". In January when I chose it, I told myself I was going to study and understand joy, I was going to pursue JOY and have a JOYOUS year. Yup! Happy dance type shit! All the time! What I didn't know then but definitely know now is that truly deep sorrow and Grief gives way to joy. 

There aren’t really words to tell you how this pain has cracked my soul wide open. It's such a visceral pain; the kind you can feel in your chest -- while the rest of your mind and body feel numb. On the flip side, it creates an intensity of awareness that makes you feel a connection to everything around you. You start to discern things about people you couldn’t see before. You feel the truth about situations in your spirit. 

But this connection only comes after the hardship of feeling, you know the kind that causes you to lose interest in work, being with people, or pretty much anything involving you to feel things. The kind that makes you walk around in sweatpants and not comb your hair. It's strange how even the most connectedness driven folks can push everyone and everything away and operate in that state of isolation for weeks without even noticing. And if you're anything like me, you'll do your best to avoid feeling down because it's a source of discomfort. 

And that’s where Grace comes in. 

Grace is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot. But I wanted to dig deeper for an adequate definition. Here’s what I found:: It has been defined as “the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation.” 

I binged watched TV shows, enjoyed one glass of wine too many, too often. I didn’t hang out with friends, and I barely answered my phone. Some days the “influence to regenerate and sanctify” my own soul led me to pick up my paint brush even when I didn’t feel like painting. And on some days I found an ounce of strength and endurance, but On sooooo many days I was this close to giving up. And sometimes I just DID NOTHING. And grace was being okay with that. I’d love to know, where has GRACE shown up in your life lately? Have you endured any loss this year? How are you getting thru it? Leave me a comment below. 
 

My newest collection, "This is Grace" will be released next week. These paintings are special and are from a beautiful place in my heart. I hope you’ll connect with these pieces, and more than that - I hope that there’s at least one that speaks to you.