I know sorrow. I know hurt. I know pain.

I know suffering and I know unforgiveness.

I know what it’s like to live wondering… is this it? Is this what life’s about?

I know what it’s like to want to believe there’s more to life than just going through the motions every day. To battle depression, pretending that’s not what it is, with a fake smile that doesn’t reach the eyes… the windows to our soul.

Do you?

I’ve tried, oh how I’ve tried to live with love as the focus. I’ve tasted it… I’ve seen it… I’ve experienced it. But, oh so fleetingly it touched upon me, just as a butterfly swirls around tantalizingly, barely landing before it takes off again.

Have you?

And gratitude. All the talk about having gratitude. Have you been like me… plying for it? Trying to tease it out, stretch it out, will it out, beckon it out? Why, oh why is it so hard to live with gratitude, to find it… to see it everywhere, and to live it every day? It shouldn’t be so hard, should it?

Fleeting moments of happiness, love, and meaning. Only to witness them slinking off into the distance as I wave longingly, ‘see you again’ (hopefully). Replaced with trying to will them back, and plagued by doubts and insecurities.

Is this it? This life of mine… it this it?

The Sufi way. The Buddhist way. The mystical way. The New Age way. The Goddess way.

Something was in me, maybe from before birth, maybe as I was being stitched together in the womb… to want to seek and be found… a LOVE that endures…

A LOVE that builds up and strengthens…

A LOVE that heals everything… absolutely everything that ever splintered, fractured, tainted, betrayed, or even broke this little heart of mine.

A LOVE that fills me up and overflows, without grasping for it in desperation, but that shines within and outward, as if powered by a creator, a generator of epic proportions that never dies. That endures the ages and tests of time, distance, and even resistance.

Wait. Is it even… ETERNAL?

A LOVE that is JOY at its simplest, pared down, most bare element.

A LOVE that is JOY that moves me to tears in humble GRATITUDE with every breath, in every day that is given to me. Do you feel them now… these tears that come up from somewhere deep inside and spill up and over, and down my cheeks?

Over the past number of years, I had thought that painting was saving me… was my healing grace. And, in many ways it was, yet it could not touch THAT place inside that I needed. THAT place that would forever transform me. That would turn me inside and out and radiate strength. I knew this because there were things in my outward life that no matter how hard I tried, I could not fix. I could not heal. I could not repair. It tormented me. It tortured me. It caused others pain.

After a time, I began to find myself wondering again… Is this it? Then the Beautiful World Project was being borne… it gave me a new sense of purpose… and it began to work in me… nudging, guiding, calling… the intention behind it was beckoning… wanting to be the story, live the story… I knew could be told… I wanted to be told… even though I couldn’t imagine what it was or what would happen next.

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