This is a letter I am writing to myself-in the perspective I have now to my young artist self. I learned this method in therapy and also from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. This practice does wonders. I hope that in reading this, you can also take the time to write to your wounded artist a letter.
Dear Wounded Artist,
At four years old there was nothing you loved more than drawing in a quiet, safe space. It brought a sense of knowing that not a lot of other things could. Because it allowed you to feel in touch with your inner most self. Your gifts brought you great joy and will continue to do so the rest of your life. They allowed you to dream, and think of a life outside the one you had. This time as a child was preparing you for the hardships you will undergo.
Life will not always be easy Jessica. In fact, your life will change constantly into your teens. Moving across the country 3 times in the space of 4 years will be extremely rough on you. . You will miss a lot of schooling because of the moves, and the loss of time in school and education will effect how you learn and what you retain. You won’t be the greatest test taker in the world, but that doesn’t mean you are not smart or gifted.
People will be mean to you and call you names. You will be made fun of for your weight. Kids will oink at you and call you fat. You will even hear it from your own family. I want you to know that you will grow up to forgive the people that will call you those words, however much they will hurt you. That will you grow up to be stronger because you have survived bullying and shaming. That it prepared you to learn how to love yourself no matter what you look like, what you do, or how well you do in school. That the toughest things we go through are truly what make us stronger, if we choose to let it. Jessica, your gift lies in you always seeking a silver lining. No one is as good at it as you. And you will learn that throughout your life. Over and over again.
When you are high school your art teacher will see the beauty in your gifts, and she will be a support you to continue working on your art. You will enter a national portfolio review and get a 2 out of 5. This will hurt you. But you must also remember that you have survived a lot of people’s labels that were untrue. You have not let past experiences harden your heart. And you will continue to have a strong heart and sense of self even when your high school times are hard on your spirit. I know you feel unnoticed by many. I know it hurts to not get asked to the prom or on a date. But you are still beautiful, and special and worthy of love.
Your 20s will be the hardest decade of your life. You will want to feel rooted, but you will move to 4 different states in different parts of the country. Each time saying goodbye to friends, family and people you will let into your heart. You will be in a relationship that will test your limits. You will be told to not dream big. You will be cheated on, see very dark things , and you will suffer a miscarriage. You won’t always know what to do. But you will make art. You will find a way for it to save you. To express your deepest emotions. And it will allow for doors to open, your heart to heal and it will offer you a way out of the your old life so that you can step into a new doorway and experience a new way of life with new people.
You will be told often by others that maybe your work is not good enough. Not original enough. Not strong enough. You will use the words to fuel you to be the best you can be. And you will be. Your work will allow for your wildest dreams to come to fruition. Each day you make the choice to be creative is a day you are quieting the negative voices. And you are being true to the little girl in her room, drawing and feeling at peace with her life.
You will continue to be tested for what want. Each time, you stay strong, love yourself and others will be a victory. Remember to love yourself like you would a dear friend or family member. Don’t let the voices of others define you. You can do anything you dare to dream of. Remember that Jessica.
Keep your heart strong as always, and remember to reach out to those in need. Your voice will help many. And they will find you through your work.
Lots of Love,