Old Wounds

I recently started working with a business mentor to help bring greater clarity and focus to my creative pursuits.

Like most types of therapy, such an arrangement requires a vulnerability on your part – first in the awareness and acknowledgement of the fact that you need help.

As somebody always striving to be helpful to others, reaching out for support for my own needs has never been top of mind. I’ve learned to be self-reliant, or perhaps a little proud in thinking I have all the answers. The catch is, I’ve burdened myself with such expectations because no one has all the answers. We’re not meant to.

Whilst we each have the capacity to learn and grow in ways beyond our current state, life directs us to a specific corner of this vast, evolving world. A small patch of land to tender and reap in, using the tools and opportunities within reach, and the gifts and passions instilled so uniquely within us.

Learning to understand this is a humbling and worthwhile exercise.

My first session with my mentor taught me this: that it’s up to me to ponder the answers, but it’s others that help me understand the questions.

So I’m learning to ask the right questions, those worth reflecting on and resolving. Questions such as:

How does it affect you?
What are the signs?
Can you see things differently now?

I was encouraged to rewrite the narratives in my head that are hindering my progress. I was encouraged to express my negative emotions so that I can overcome them. I was encouraged to be at peace with my mistakes and past decisions I regret.

We don’t often realise how much heaviness we’re holding onto until somebody comes along and asks us the right questions. The questions are hard to confront and the answers are hard to process. But it’s in this space where clarity, growth and courage are nurtured. It’s here where we discover truth and perspective about ourselves and our purpose in this world.

I find myself in such a space. More conscious of my thoughts and reactions to people and situations. It doesn’t come naturally but I’m learning to be more aware of my emotions – those that appear on the surface, and those that I bottle up inside. And this is where creativity is my saving grace. A vessel to store all the hurt, confusion and curiosity, and a canvas to colour, adorn and experiment on.

Through words and music and art, I can breathe in the questions and exhale the answers.

It’s an ongoing process, one I must continually practice. I must read, write, listen and reflect with intention. Not simply as a means of escape and pleasure, but with a consciousness to improve and refine my thought patterns and habits. To create healthier boundaries and mindsets. To rise from past pains and traumas, to close up old wounds for good.

I reached out for help and it’s helping. I’m starting to see things differently now.

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