The Space Between Fear and What’s Unseen


“The ultimate concern of the artist is not to paint mountains and clouds and trees but the air between them.” -Wang Wei

What amazes me most about my recent encounters with fear and resistance, is how open my heart and mind are to receiving what’s on the other side of them. It’s that same openness that takes you by surprise when you finally realize how much stronger you are than you think.

For many years, I put off my dreams and success because of fear. Doesn’t that sound ludicrous? The fear of success? Achievement? It’s actually pretty common.

I wonder why that is?

There may be different reason’s for everyone. But, for me, it took time and deep digging to find the answer. I had to examine myself. I had to examine where my reactions and scripts came from. I had to stop blaming every one and every circumstance around me for my misery. I had to stop running away from it. That wasn’t working for me.

That’s how I found out the source of my misery was me.

This truth changed my life forever. It came after years and years of pointing fingers until every one and every opportunity was gone. I was finally all alone. With myself. The source of the dark presence that filled the air, making it thick and difficult to breathe, and drowned me.

There I was, in the cool, still, dark at the bottom of the sea. That’s where I wanted to be. No that’s where I longed to be. So I could just. be. me…  In the calm, cool silence at the bottom of the sea.

During my first hospitalization for Major Depressive Disorder, one of our group sessions was Art Therapy. We received a large white sheet of paper and any medium of our choosing. In the center of the page, there was a line. The assignment was to use the space on the left side of the page to communicate how we felt when we were first admitted. Then, to use the right side of the page to communicate how we want to feel when we are discharged.

That sounds easy, but it was so hard for me, in the state of mind I was in. I couldn’t think at all, so drawing was out of the question. All I could do was color the heck out of the oil pastels, I chose, onto the page. My colors were so intentional. And I chose oil pastels, because they are messy. Art always turns out better when your willing to get your hands dirty. The product of the emotion in this assignment was exactly where I wanted to be. At the bottom of the sea.

Not even knowing how I had gotten there in the first place, I was nowhere near even discussing discharge. I had no clue what hope looked like anymore, so I had nothing left in me to communicate on the right side of the page.

There it was. White. Spotless. Empty.

"The White Space" by Leigh Hall, December 2011

“The White Space” by Leigh Hall, December 2011

After five months of intense treatment, and a whole new way of thinking, that blank side of the page turned out to be the perfect image of where I am today. To me, it now represents a new beginning. A brand new life that I, myself, am the standard for. It is the birth of hope on a whole new level, that I once believed was no longer an option. Have you noticed a pattern? Everything is NEW!

It is such a beautiful place to be. This white space. Where there are no rules, expectations, or confining boundaries. Where I’m free to fly, free to fall, or do nothing at all. It’s where ideas have no limits and passion burns bright through the eyes. It’s the one, the boundless, beautiful white space.

In this beautiful place is where I get to break through every condition and simply be me. Just the way I am. With my own roles, values, intentions and ideas to express in every way I can and choose.

In this new life, is the most comfortably place to sit, at peace, in the seat of my own identity.

I’m free to love, give, share and receive, because my eyes can finally see the value of my being is right here, within me.

What is your fear?  What decision or reality are you resisting to face?

Dear friend, I am here to remind you that you are stronger than you think you are. That’s what happens when you think to much, instead of being. You forget that you know how strong you are. Once you discover your strengths and gifts that are unique to you, you are well on your way to reaching your white space on the other side. You’ve got to be mindful and aware of your feelings and your thoughts. You’ve got to remember that neither one of them define what you know. This process has the potential to create the biggest mess you make in life. But if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, keep digging deep into your heart, and you will surely find that white space inside, waiting for you to find.

Burn Bright! 

just Leigh.

“His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. His clothes shimmered, glistening whitewhiter than any bleach could ever make them.” –Mark the Evangelist

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One comment

  1. this post is my favorite.

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