I have been deeply enjoying art journaling, using my altered book. (Read more about Art Journaling HERE) I’ve discovered that whether I am writing or coloring or creating collages in my journal, my thoughts and feelings flow freely as energy onto the page.
This afternoon, during a quiet moment, I worked on another page in my journal. Surrounded by colored pencils and gel pens, I was delighted that on this day that focuses on love, it felt appropriate to draw heart shapes on the page. The words I had highlighted spoke of my heart’s journey, from adolescence to womanhood.
I pierced the representation of my heart with an arrow. We all possess such wounded hearts, energetically at least. And many things can pierce us, including pain and beauty. I am learning to allow both to pass through while I keep my heart open, refusing to close down.
It was as I was coloring in the larger heart, my heart, that memories surfaced. I recalled that sixteen years ago I attended a retreat in Colorado, interestingly, a Captivating event led by Stasi Eldredge, whose book I was now using as an art journal.
My desire during the retreat was to reclaim my heart. I recognized that over my lifetime I had given away many pieces of my heart…to people, to causes, to situations. My heart was not only fragmented, the pieces were scattered. I intentionally began the process of gathering those fragments, restoring each one to my heart.
During our solitary times at the retreat, I made lists of all the people I had consciously or unconsciously given a part of my heart to. The list was long. My intention to live from a whole heart was strong. One by one, I gathered up those broken pieces, thanking the person I had given it to for the lessons learned, releasing the past, welcoming that part of me back. It was the beginning of wholeness for me.
Today, as those memories stirred, my heart stirred as well. Thoughtfully, I reached for my gel pen and transferred the tender memories to my drawing, creating an image of a heart lovingly pieced back together.
The gathering of fragments was ongoing. Six years ago, I recognized that I had cut away the largest portion of my heart, while still a child, and hid it away. I embraced my other half, my intuitive heart, and vowed to live wholeheartedly as my true self.
As I completed my journal page, it occurred to me that it had been a while since I checked my heart for missing fragments. What a beautiful invitation, to go within and seek wholeness. I found pieces and slivers that I had once again given away. I spent time gently retrieving them, releasing the past, expressing gratitude for lessons, and bringing those fragments back to my heart.
How healing, once again.
For those heart fragments that I gave away were never capable of giving or receiving unconditional love. Cut off from my great heart they were small, needy, faltering, seeking, easily bruised.
Restored to the whole, back where they belong, the pieces of my heart lack nothing and expect nothing. My restored heart can love freely, and receive love, without grasping or clinging or needing anything. It is whole. It is full of light.
The simple act of creating and coloring ushered in an equally simple invitation to remember, and then go within for a heart check. I am grateful. I am being love…from my beautifully scarred and whole heart.