January 8, 2019

Dare I Feel Proud?

Sitting in my studio, listening to one of my favorite radio programs, drawing with Pause the Cat on my left, and a glass of dry white wine on my right I realize in this moment I am in the perfect place. By the time my drawing has come to an intermediate resolve, the radio program has ended and my glass is empty. I sit for a moment basking in the glory of my life as a whole. I am loving – no, I am in love with every thread comprising the tapestry of Lindsay Jean Beal. I become aware of the tragedies of my past, and I feel love for each one – and I feel proud.

Now, the concept of pride is not contentious to me, but so often, I see a slight cringe from others when they hear or use the word. Sometimes there is an excuse for its use, or a declaration that “pride” might not be appropriate. Clearly “pride’s” reputation as one of the seven deadly sins is the cause of this ambivalence. So here am I, in love with and proud of my life and my self. I have to ask, “Is my pride a feeling of being puffed up, or of being pumped up? That is, am I an imposter – manually inflated with hot air or, do I feel my life force in my flesh and breath and have my accomplishments been earned with effortful actions?” If the latter is true, pride is a fine feeling.

When I think of the tragedies that have befallen me, I feel proud. Mind you, I don’t wish for any more, but I love each hardship I’ve endured. Notably, past physical pain is of no consequence now, and the emotional pains are quiescent. It’s enough to simply remember the events, remember that I struggled, that I survived, and these specific tragedies large and small, along with my joys are all threads of triumph. I have put in the effort to overcome adversity, to heal serious wounds of body and mind, and put in the effort to thrive again, and again, and so I can feel proud. I can love the complexity, the awkwardness, the relentless commitment this weaving has led me to discover, because this is my strength and source of compassion. This is the fabulous, intricate tapestry of my life.

Within twelve hours of my studio reveling, my friend sends me this:

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." ~ Maya Angelou

Synchronicity affirms that my weaving is but a small piece of the Grand Tapestry.