My He(ART)-Full Life

Saturday, May 5, 2012

the story behind the story

                                              (a page from my Outsider Journals)
 “ Let’s bare our arms and plunge them deep through laughter, through pain, through sorrow, through hope, through disappointment, into the very depths of the souls of our people and drag forth materials crude, rough, neglected. Then let’s sing it, dance it, write it, paint it.”
                                                                                             -Aaron Douglas

There are  always stories behind stories...big huge ones or tiny seeds. This is a big huge story so...please bear with me. Just last week I completed answering questions for an interview I did with soul sister Rita Banerji. I had been sitting with them for a while...I wrote tons and tons and then edited and edited.'s the thing. I realise that if I am going to claim my entire story...then I have to talk about things I don't necessarily want to. sometimes. I have to be brave enough to share what I have been through and what I have learned from them . I edited this out of the interview thinking..."oh! it's not that one would be interested in that". But the truth is this right here: it's deeply deeply painful and there's a lot of shame + blame + guilt + other "yucky" emotions all tied into it that it was so much easier to edit it out. But it's big huge important. In large part because it is so difficult.

( a page from my sketchbook)
I have always always always been an outsider; in my "family" of origin, in my community and culture. I was an unwanted and unloved child (it's the absolute truth and now that I am a mom...I am finally coming to terms with it more more than ever). I have been thrown away, devalued and tossed aside more times than I can people I have deeply loved in both my childhood + adult life. The whys don't matter (to me) as much as the experience of having lived my life in a perpetual state of "not enough". No matter what I simply hasn't been enough for the people who were in my life. I guess we all have these feelings from time to time and certainly as we get older. Both women and men face this in degrees. I mean- as women- don't we fear getting older and being thrown away by society. When all the qualities we are valued for in our families and society in general...our sexuality, our mothering and care taking abilities...when all of those have eroded or no longer needed...don't we have a deep down fear of not being seen anymore? Marginalized? Unwanted? Unloved? Thrown away?

                                                             (on my inspiration board)
I had to do a lot of soul searching + soul mending and it was  a long and difficult road. It took me years and years...through a lot of my twenties and even into my thirties. It wasn't until I leaned to love mySELF hard and true that I started to heal. In retrospect, it wasn't one event either....but a multitude of people + situations that came into my life fortuitously. Oh!! at the time I didn't think so at all!!! I had a little pity party for mySELF...why does this always happen to me, poor me etc etc. You know the deal right??:) It was only until I stepped back and said "what can I learn from this?", "what can I do differently?", "why am I attracting these situations into my life?" that I started to transform. I had to view things through an archetypal lens ;it wasn't personal at all...the people in my life were simply my teachers. It was only then that I could truly heal, truly love mySELF and attract people into my life that were healthy for me. Of course it's never a straight road and there are always a lot of detours + things:)  But...that's all part of the journey...right??

(a few days ago..Tara and I on our way to a lunch date)
But now I can claim my stories proudly....share them honestly and continue learning from them. And of course...there are always tons of lessons just around the corner:) Now I can see the (many) gifts that have come from my pain and shame and being thrown away. They are precious jewels of wisdom. humility. gratitude. tenacity. resilience. knowing what's truly important (to me). And I can bare my vulnerable + tender parts's what makes us human + alive. xxx


Jen @Sadie Inspired said...

What a beautiful, brave story to share Soraya! I am actually sitting in Barnes (with coffee & Hubby of course) reading your words here and in Somerset Studio. You are truly inspiring...your art, your heart, your words, your life story. Thank you for breaking open and sharing such beautiful vulnerability & truth. xxoo

birds sing artblog said...

you are so brave and beautiful!the photo of you and Tara shows how well you mother and have healed from your mother's glad the world is now recognizing and celebrating your wonderful creative gifts (hurray for somerset studio!)
all good wishes
birds sing artblog

jane said...

Tears as I read know I've had so many of those same difficult experiences, thank you for sharing your beautiful self. xo Jane

SooZeQue said...

It always take huge courage to step into the light and shed the baggage that binds us down - you are brave, beautiful and continue to model what is good and right. You give us all reason to be better, do better and you show us that from all pain there can be a road of joy - we decide what we want. Sometimes its a long road, but when we have hands that hold ours during that walk down that path it's always brighter. I love your heart!

laurie said...

as i read your story, i realized my own is very similar, even though i shy away from looking at it. thank you for sharing, for being brave, and for giving me the courage and support i need to claim my own past.