My Photo

Written by on July 6, 2007 in Conversations on the Healing Journey with 0 Comments

I do not apologize for my age. So, why do I have a photo of myself as a child on this blog and not a more current one?

My art is a very big part of my healing. For most of my life I have been very ambivalent about who I was. Posting this photo of me as a five year old is a step toward that healing, a kind of affirmation of not only who I was but that stage of my life. As imperfect and as painful as it might have been, it’s still my childhood.

When I was in my early 20’s, I wanted to turn my back on who I thought I used to be. I changed my name.

And while the name change was fine, I didn’t understand that you really can’t turn your back on yourself, and feeling ashamed of whatever vulnerabilities you think you have is not empowering at all nor is it a sign of strength.

You can become abusive, yourself, by denying your past or denigrating it or running from it, but that’s kind of crazy, when you think of it, because you can’t detach yourself from your past any more than you can detach a limb without crippling yourself in some way.

It’s a part of you. It doesn’t follow you. It is you. Not the entirety of you and not the definition of you, but it is still you, nonetheless.

I needed to really let that sink in. I smile now when I see the child I was. If I am not apologetic for who I am, I must also not be apologetic for who I was. I can take responsibility for the mistakes I made (and I made many) as I transformed from child into adult and then stood squarely on adult ground, whether I was ready for it or not. But being accountable or remorseful where appropriate is not the same as apologizing for your being.

I don’t think I’ll be taking this photo down anytime soon, but I do want to put up a more recent photo. Not sure how I’m going to incorporate both photos into this blog, but I will make room.

Just like I’m learning to make room with compassion for more than that which is flattering to who I like to think I am or aspire to be.

And perhaps that’s the first step to healing. Just accepting who you are, and loving yourself enough to take all of you on your life’s journey.

About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, using spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. Demian is a traveler on the healing journey with a lifelong love affair with the creative process. .


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