Throughout our lives, we get groomed to be acceptable to others: our parents, our teachers, employers and society at large. For those with lived experience with grief, mental health challenges, chronic disease or abuse, the stakes are even higher. We have had to modify our behavior, our essence and even our thoughts to try to maintain a sense of safety in the face of disapproval and many levels of battering by others. In the process, we give away pieces of ourselves – our freedom to show up in living color. The freedom to express ourselves in the clothes we wear, how we style our hair, the words we use, how we move through the world, use our bodies and enforce our own boundaries.
We are told that we are too loud, too quiet, too serious if we aren’t perpetually smiling, angry or non-compliant if we say no, anti-social if we take time for ourselves or a victim if we are working through healing from lived experience.
Little by little, society tries to either erase us or mold us like clay to reflect it. It is time for a revolution. A taking back of every piece of ourselves – a rebuilding of the soul. We have the power to make ourselves whole – we don’t need the validation of others to be worthy of our existence and autonomy. We build our tapestry, one golden thread at a time, one red thread at a time and it is beautiful.
Creative expression is each of us rebelliously taking ourselves back and saying “no, THIS is me”. You ARE art; a magnificent masterpiece of all that has gone before and all that is yet to come. Every word you speak, every truth you speak to power, every story you own, every color you choose, word you write is you being present. No one can erase you. No one can groom you to stay small any longer. Creativity is presence and it cannot be erased – it gives voice to both the seen and the unseen. Be a messy, magnificent Rebel of Presence. You are enough and you are your own.