Here’s a picture I drew years ago when I felt really low. I was trying to help myself realize that I didn’t have to kill myself in order to escape the pain I was in. I could choose to keep living and transform into something beyond the pain. In the picture, a dead moth is behind me. In front of me, I had intended to draw a butterfly, but look what appeared–a weird-looking moth. I was shocked when I saw it; instead of pulling myself from the doldrums, I dug myself in more deeply. The word “choice” hovers over my heart, but if I could have edited the word after finishing the picture, the words would read “no choice.”
I had drawn waves behind my legs as in get going, but they came out as images of inertia or stuckness–running in place. In front of my abdomen I had drawn lines that I had hoped would be waves of motion, but my pen ended the lines with ovals of friction–going nowhere. I felt completely stuck in my life, unable to go backward and unable to go forward. Sometimes even though we want a positive outcome–we want to feel hopeful and draw a butterfly–we can’t. I had to face the fact that the work that I was doing with my therapist was not helping.
Looking at this picture has always been hard, but I see now what I could not see before. This picture was telling me that I could not go about things as I had. I could not attempt to kill myself: I did not want to die. Going forward in the same way also was not possible. Therapy was not working with this person and I had to let it go. At the time, I felt helpless and directionless.
Shortly after drawing this, however, I made a friend, Suzie Grain. I moved into a room in her flat when one of her roommates left. In a short time, I found a new therapist and my life took an entirely positive turn.
Pictures often reveal what is unknown to us. The artist captures what is there. When we accept what is there in our consciousness, we can work with it. Which brings me to Louise Hay. I’ve been rereading her book You Can Heal Your Life. She talks about the importance of forgiveness. If we want to forgive others and move on with our lives, recovering this energy for ourselves, sometimes it’s important to imagine revenge before forgiveness.
The other day after my morning meditation, I wanted to forgive whoever strapped me down for surgery, immobilizing my jaw and preventing me from screaming. (Yes, she or he had to do this, but I don’t have to like it.) But first, as Hay suggests, I needed to have my revenge fantasy. I don’t know who actually secured me for my early surgery, but I imagined my surgeon tied to the gurney and reveled in holding the blade of a spear to his neck. I put some pressure on the blade to frighten him. Ooooh, what joy! Only then could I begin the work of forgiveness.
What we hold in our consciousness are gifts; what we do with these thoughts direct our future. Having the tools to heal is a blessing. Drawing saved my life. Using the tools of the New Thought Movement–meditation, forgiveness, affirmation–I am restoring my energy to maximum capacity. With forgiveness comes gratitude and power. Every moment holds great possibility.