self-portraits are scary.
self-portraits are liberating.
self-portraits let you see.
self-portraits force you to look.
take a longer look//notice with compassion//what you love//who you are
notice with compassion//the holy work of sitting with self//who you are//truth-gaze
the holy work of sitting with self//what you love//truth-gaze//take a longer look.
there is something subversive about a self-portrait. we are taught from birth to look out and not in, not to make too much of ourselves. i have been told recently that this journey i am on, of discovering my true self, wrestling with questions of beauty and identity and worth? that i am looking the wrong direction. ("turn your eyes only on jesus"; "you're being selfish") but he has allowed me to discover deep desire, to move toward dreams and self, and he moves with me.
i have needed to find me in order to have a "me" to be in relationship with. Thomas Merton says:
so, i will keep looking, and keep shooting and painting and sharing. even when the very idea of my own beauty is painful, a deep wound. i will be brave, and keep asking, keep looking, keep seeing me.
"so let them think our eyes are hollow for a bit, because, friend, we've got some dancing to do down deep." - Mandy Steward, Thrashing about with God