March – Wise, Fierce, Caring, Kind

March is my birth month so I have been particularly interested in the prompt words for my healing collage work. I’m not a Pisces, although I have some of those tendencies being born on the cusp. I am most definitely Aries, with the moon in Sagittarius and Cancer rising. A smoldering mix of water and fire you might say.

What I Value Most

These words of the past few weeks – wise, fierce, caring and kind – are a reminder of what I’ve valued most in life. These reminders are healing because I had forgotten. Grief, pain and trauma and even aging can often cause reflection that leads to self-doubt. All the things that went wrong, didn’t work out the way we thought they would, and the loss of hopes and dreams make us wonder, “What did I do wrong?”

But these words tell me to ask the question, “What did I do right?” I think I tried my best to live according to my values. That’s all a person can do. We can’t control anyone else’s thoughts or actions or the endless, seemingly random possibilities of things that can happen in life. (Like suddenly becoming a widow at 62.)

Gratitude Through Everything

I am grateful for my life. I have grown in wisdom through many difficulties. I’ve been a fierce advocate for education, personal growth, and family well being. I care about the environment and all living things. And I believe that kindness is the natural by-product of realizing that we are all connected – every molecule, atom and particle – all energy connects everything to the same source and to all that exists.

So, this 64th birthday is kind of a milestone for me. During the past 20 years I’ve been wrestling with my own health issues and with my family’s security and well being. Many times, just as I thought things were getting better a new crisis would happen. Financial insecurity was a constant. My children grew up and began their adult lives and thank God they are all doing well. During this time, both my parents passed away and then my husband had major heart surgery. Then he lost his hearing and his ability to teach. Just 7 years after his heart surgery he passed away from Cancer while we were in a transition period of moving to Australia. Then a year after he passed the COVID pandemic began.

Processing Emotions Brings Healing

So, I do these digital collages and other artwork to help process my emotions. As we grow older all kinds of trauma from the past can resurface, even hidden emotions from childhood. The emotions wont go away until they’re processed and integrated into the psyche with acceptance and gratitude. It’s not easy. I wish I had learned to do, or taken the time to do it earlier. Anyway, it’s what I’m doing now as I mark off 64 years and begin this 65th year of life today.

“We turn not older with years, but newer every day.”

Emily Dickinson

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