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Tools and the Wisdom of Wonderland

I had a really great chat with a friend when I got home. I was able to break it down more.

So many people keep telling me that I'm brave as my show is so vulnerable, and I guess it is, but it's no more vulnerable than anything I've already been sharing since I started my business in 2011. As I broke down the feelings of sadness with my friend, I could see how this repeated commentary made me feel like a freak. People aren't used to these conversations, where to me, this is my norm. If people didn't tell me I was standing there naked however, I would be fine and not notice; but because they are, I suddenly feel exposed. It's like this nudity is my nature, it’s how I'm meant to be, but to others it's shocking.

My friend said some really nice things to me, one of which was that it reminded her of the Garden of Eden. After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve became aware of their nudity and chose to cover themselves with leaves.

It reminds me of that too.

I found when I got home from the Gallery today, breaking down my feelings as I spoke to my friend, I started to question myself: Should I be covering up? Is this emotional nudity inappropriate? Should I be ashamed of my heart? Of my past? Of my life? Of my mind? But I don't think I should be. I'm not pushing anything unholy. I'm not encouraging people to go out and do drugs and engage in a bunch of casual sex or anything (not that I judge those who do). It's just our society isn't used to the flip side—the vulnerability of leaving that way of life.

I don’t think people know how to react. It's going to be upsetting to some, while to others, it induces jaw dropping awe, inspiration, courage within their own lives, and most importantly, hope that life can get better.

Meanwhile, I'm standing there naked and I'm absolutely terrified. I choose to keep going however, because people are dying behind their vices—their masks. Because feeling what we truly feel isn’t a nudity we should be ashamed of. Feelings are not actions. We cannot choose how we feel, but we absolutely can choose how we act upon those feelings. Our actions are within our power. Denying the feelings—running away—that’s what leads to death and so much more pain.

I come home and I hold myself as I weep because I’m standing there exposed and I don’t know who’s seeing me. My friend reminds me that artists and advocates are here to push boundaries—that I’m here to open up eyes and hearts. That I shine my light as bright as I can for those in the dark, whom feel afraid; whom feel as if it’s not safe for them to come out of the shadows. She tells me that I AM brave and that I’m gifted—that I can take my pain and transform it into something that helps others—which is magic! She reminds me that I’m strong even when I feel weak.

I know she’s right. I realize it's a strength; that very few could do what I do. I know I have a way of weaving pain into beauty. I know why I'm doing this; but God, it hurts. It hurts to come home and hold myself as I weep. We’re not meant to be alone, humans are a communal species. I know that I’m not alone though, that all I need do is reach out; but I think there is strength in learning to stand alone too. In learning to tend to my own wounds and care for myself. In knowing how to hold and comfort myself as I cry. I’m not saying this is the way it should be, but I am saying that I’ve got me. That I have the tools to break down without becoming broken, as I know how to repair my hurting parts. Reaching out to my friend was one of the tools I keep safe in my trusty box.

Thank you to her, and to so many others whom send me love and kindness everyday. This show and another talk tomorrow, is like running an emotional marathon. Thank you to everyone, who, unasked, has been providing me with emotional watering stations, rest stops, and nourishment as I continue on this course. It means more than you know. 🫂❤️


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