Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Changing Images

Half-carved stone sculptures lie buried within, some bigger than others. I periodically dig in the muck and pull the cloth off one to continue the work. After all these years, they are still chunks of stone although the hint of the original shape has become more refined. After all these years, I’m still defining who I am. After all these years, I am defining who I am and not by someone else’s standards. 

I take a small pick and chip away one more piece. However, before I can start chiseling detail, I am distracted by a more important project. Over sixty years and I’m still a work in process as I slowly sculpt my ultimate masterpiece one small chink at a time.

This was the image that came to me as I am working on my latest journey into the self. I see my issues as half-formed stone sculptures. But wait! The stone will turn to polished marble when done. Oh, that’s an image for me, ha ha – not! I am not polished stone. I may be slowly carving more detail, but I will never be “polished.” 

That’s not a self put-down. It’s who I am. I am not an elegant, refined lady. I am the solid, grounded, well-rounded, well-meaning friend. I AM a rock; like the rough stones I pick up and save because I see beauty in the stone. 

I am the jagged edges of amethyst, the crevices that gather dust and sand. I am the holes in pumice and, at time, I have the clarity of a clear quartz crystal. I am the healing of citrine and the grounding of obsidian. I have the love of life and nature of rose quartz and, like granite I’m made up of many things.

But let’s go back to the stone sculptures. Maybe they are marble inside or alabaster or maybe I am just a hunk of New Hampshire granite. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the work; the art of carving. Perhaps it’s time to name these chunks of unfinished stone.

I was doing more reading last night on shame and guilt. I am learning there’s a definite difference between the two. Brene Brown defines shame as something we feel and guilt as something we’ve done. I’m to the point where it’s time to start looking closer at this and deciding which might be shame or which is guilt. Bringing these issues to the light will help them release where they will no longer have hold on me.

It’s a huge subject and I’m looking at my life differently than I have previously. It’s taking some changing of old concepts and it’s also opening doors which have been slammed shut; which some are so buried that I have to get in there with a shovel to dig it out just to get to the door. And that brought me to those half-carved stone sculpture images that I found buried in the muck.

Oh, and here continues that saga of how I feel I am on a treasure hunt on this journey to understanding the self. I’m an archeologist into myself and those stone half-carvings are the finding of ancient treasure. If I can hold it up to the light and learn its curves and holds…

Oh, oh, oh – revelation! I started today’s writing with the images of having to carve individual sculptures, but that’s not exactly true. The only true image I am carving is ME! Those stones I find in the muck are more like buried ancient relics. These relics buried within are allowing me to discover the true me. I refuse to be defined by society, stereotypes, and the media. 

Revealing those relics is like finding the right carving tool to better define me; define me by my standards, through my story, where I can stand up with confidence and shout, “This is who I am!” And know it for the truth.

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