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  • Loveday Funck

Childhood Joy


As we move further into the Victorian Language of Flowers, we come at last to the beautiful yellow chrysanthemum, which means Slighted Love. Red often seems to be about passion, pink about purity, white about innocence and then sunny yellow which feels like it can be interpreted in many different ways.


Slighted Love aligns nicely with the lessons in Week 3 of "The Artist's Way": Recovering a Sense of Power. As children, we often felt powerless, because we had little control over what we did on a day to day basis. We weren't given a sense of autonomy or power over self.


That powerlessness lingers in our psyche in regard to our Inner Artist Child. They may feel as if they have no choice in whether they create art or not. They may have lost belief in their inner abilities and talents. How often do children create some crazed masterpiece and present it with pride to their parents? Many parents will praise that effort and hang it in place of prominence on their refrigerator or bulletin board.


Sometimes, though, these childhood masterpieces are received with little regard for the young artist's effort and discarded carelessly or thoughtlessly. I remember that sting of pain and those increasing moments of doubt in my own abilities. I internalized the belief that I wasn't creative because my parents gave little thought to the art I presented them. I imagine they considered it a thing of little consequence, but those moments hurt. Those moments pile up in our mind until we come to believe that we possess no creative or artistic ability.


In Week Three, we push through our sense of Slighted Love. We give power back to our Inner Artist Child. You are creative. You are worthy of time and attention.


Take whatever art you may be playing with, no matter how "not good" you think it is, and hang it in place of prominence. Remember, that you are only just starting on this journey. Praise your first attempts and know that your work is only going to get better.


Just being willing to share and show your art is an enormous first step. Push past any attempts as self sabotage or shame. Of course, your first few attempts will not be a Van Gogh or a Picasso. You are only just beginning to rediscover your lost creativity. Be patient. Be kind to yourself.


You may feel a great deal of inner resistance to this program, especially in this week. You may even experience moments of irrational anger. The anger is your Inner Child trying to protect itself from new hurts and trauma. This is where you need to dig in. Examine closely why you feel angry. Why are you suddenly resisting the progression of positive change in your own life?


When we open all the doors and windows into our psyche, when we let in the light, we may find unresolved feelings and old buried traumas. Don't get overwhelmed. Work through these old memories one at a time. Working through these old experiences is an essential part of recovering our creative selves and regaining control of that part of our lives.


Lure your inner child out gently. Take them for a walk on a beautiful sunny day. Take them out for what would have been their favorite treat. (peanut butter and chocolate ice cream with sprinkles!).


Trying to recapture that lost joy of childhood; that sense of pure joy can be a difficult process. I've lost so much of that and I am still working to recover my ability to play.


My Inner Artist Child often felt slighted and unloved and I am working to reassure her that she is safe now and she can play as much as she likes. It can be a long process. Be patient with yourself. Be kind. Don't expect too much, too quickly.


We can get better and we will get better. Don't give up. Frustration is normal and to be expected but let's stick with this. "The Artist's Way" program is shaking out a lot that was buried and hidden; a lot of old pains and traumas.


Let's work through them a little at a time, remembering to reassure our Inner Artist Child that they are safe and that their work is valued. We are creative. We are worthwhile. We deserve the time and space to safely explore all that we lost and to discover all the playful possibilities before us.



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