|Embrace (feeling transformed by Spirit and expressing that)|
Pastel and paint on paper © Cathy Barney
[I wrote this blog specifically for a contest answering how words have transformed someone spiritually, but I also think it’s appropriate here. Because of a 300-word limit, it is a shorter-than-usual post and without the ending prose-poetry summary. I’d love for you to share how words have done the same for you!]
Listen to post:
God used to speak to me via auto accidents; probably because it took me a long while to discern her softer whispers. In 1998, I experienced a doozey, which triggered an arduous journey toward fibromyalgia diagnosis, acceptance and healing. Pain has been my constant companion and teacher, inching me closer to Spirit, though I am not always a willing student. Images and words have become my therapy, my lifeline.
Righting what seemed like a wrong directed me toward yoga and Quakerism, a melding of mind, body and spirit. In redefining myself through the lens of disease, I rediscovered art as an opening. A mentor suggested I journal about my art. I had been the journalist who never journaled; I only wanted the facts as they related to telling someone else’s story. Dozens of notebooks and hundreds of blog posts later, I understand the power of words to transform and heal me, unlock and nurture others.
As I wrote about my art, I recognized it was expressing my deepest self. My heart began to flow through my pen and onto the page, softening it to God. For me, journaling and art are my purest forms of prayer. Exposing the deepest, darkest, messiest parts of myself in writing clears the way for Spirit’s transforming light, tapping that of God within and calling me forward. Calling me to be more of who I am. Often, my words end and God’s take over. We have one breath, one heart and one mission: to love. No more, no less.
No more accidents.
• How have I experienced God?
• What has discomfort taught me?
• How has it brought me closer to Spirit?
• How does writing or self expression clarify my relationship to God?
• How have words, mine or another’s, opened me spiritually?