The other day I found drawings and paintings I made a couple of years ago. To go through them was a visit back to who I was then, a person who now felt as a distant stranger. They were uncomfortable to confront because they were truly PAINtings, made in a state of chaos and turmoil. Looking back I can see they kept me busy and distracted, which I needed. I couldn’t face all that was happening around me at the time and many of the paintings I did then were lifelines I created for myself to hold on to. They are not me but a part of me, a part of who I was then.
Our relationship with ourselves and our past phases is reflected in the attitude with which we meet these relics. Sometimes they are sweet reminders and as we see our younger self in them we have compassion for that person and we smile. Other times it is troublesome to find these traces of what we have gone through as they bring back memories we rather not carry with us. It can be hard to forgive our previous mistakes, to have empathy with ourselves and understand that we did our best with what we knew then, with the knowledge, tools, and support we had then.
To me the different phases are the building blocks of who we are, from the bottom and up (or maybe from the center outwards 🙂 ). No matter if we like them or not each is a contribution to who we are today. Even if we have moved far away from that person we once were we need to respect the past to respect our present. It doesn’t mean we should hold on to everything and anything. To move forward and grow also means to let go of what does not serve us anymore, and to do so consciously and with awareness. When we stumble upon these relics I think it is important to acknowledge them for what they are, what purpose they served and honor that, respect that part of ourselves, us. ”I went through that, I was that, I felt and did that, and now I am here.”