Pumpkin and Deb
Pumpkin and Deb, friends?

Suddenly I’ve realized, I  have friends.  It’s not like I’ve never had friends before, I just haven’t had any for a long time.  Not since getting divorced about six years ago, when I changed so much that most of the  relationships I had no longer worked.

And the thing that made me realize that the people I now call my friends are really friends, is that I know I can be honest with them and I trust them.  I don’t have to hide who I really am.  This was not something  I could do in the past.  I was afraid to be honest, afraid not to be agreeable, I was so desperate to be liked. So desperate for community, I was afraid to do or say anything that might jeopardize it.

I grew up in a family where we didn’t  speak honestly to each other.  There were so many unspoken rules about what could and couldn’t be said.  And often, being honest about how I was feeling or what I thought turned into arguments or left me thinking there was something wrong with me for feeling the way I did.    So, I learned to say (and not say) and behave in a way that was accepted and expected. I did this within my family and not knowing any other way to behave,  I did it also with the relationships outside of my family.  I didn’t trust people to like me for who I was, so I became who I thought they wanted me to be.

This issue of authenticity has affected my art. It is difficult to be honest in my work if I am fearful of disagreement or disapproval. Fear of honesty works its way into all aspects of my life.  I’m continually working on being  more honest with all people as well as my friends, and I am also learning to be more honest in my work.

This means me making something without worrying if it will sell or not, or being overly concerned  about other people’s reaction to it.   But making it because it’s what I need to make, it’s something I need to express.  A few weeks ago I made a wall hanging from a dream with an alligator and a Thunderbird.  I got hardly any feed back on it at all and to me it was very meaningful and I loved the way it came out.  I sold it at the Open House to Jennifer who was really moved by it and said that a lot of people have trouble with alligators.  I have another alligator piece in me that needs to come out.  I think in the past I might have just forgotten about it, knowing it probably won’t be well received.  But I think that’s the same as not saying how I feel because I’m afraid of how someone might react to it.

Honesty is leading me down a new path.  One that strengthens my sense of self and connects me to the people who aren’t afraid to hear my thoughts and ideas and like me for who I am.


17 thoughts on “Honestly…..

  1. Good for you, Maria. While I know the old saying is Honesty is the best policy, it is not always so easy to be – fear is such a terribly undermining emotion. It is always good to hear when someone breaks free of it. Althea

  2. I love your streaming work, MW. When you roll out your unique poetry and dream images I never know what to expect. Your work is fresh and bold. Thank you!

  3. Oh my gosh, Maria – You are always magic for me. And, here’s one of the best things I have found about about aging. I have become more and more comfortable with who I am, I wish the same for you. Let those alligators fly!!!!

  4. Funny thing, I’ve had this experience but in reverse. I was never honest with how I felt and just went along to get along as they say and had friends, relationships, etc. After having a wake up call with a serious health issue I decided to start speaking up about how I felt and what I thought, no longer doing things I didn’t really want to do and now have few “friends” and a totally different relationship with my husband which is more honest for me but not nearly as happy or fun. Probably not wording this in a way you can understand but I feel better having written it. Thanks.

    1. It sounds like you’re saying that being honest has hurt your relationships more than helped them. I’ve had that experience too. many of my old relationships ended when I started being honest. But it’s the new ones that work so much better for me than the older ones ever did. Seems you’ve had a different experience Lynn.

  5. Maria,
    Knowing yourself and being brave enough to share that honestly is courageous and liberating. Keep it up. Creating for yourself first, will be very powerful…and honest.

  6. omg…I think we grew up in the same household. Maybe we just didn’t notice one another there.
    You know how Ron and I feel about gators! We were feeding giant gators Special K Breakfast bars out of the car in the Everglades! No safety awareness for us!

    1. I’m glad you were giving them something healthy Cindy. And if we did grow up in the same house, I definitely would have noticed you! Too bad, maybe we could have figured it out together.

  7. I can relate about the growing up part, Maria. Seen and not heard was the rule, so it was hard to figure out what was really inside. And it’s taken years to undo all of that, but living honestly and authentically now works so well. There is no other way…and it’s always unfolding. Thanks for your honest and enlightening post.

  8. Of course you have friends, because you ARE a good friend! Even though I don’t see you very often you have been so very kind and generous to me and my daughter that I consider you a highly valued friend. All of your blog posts are thoughtful and inspiring while I greatly appreciate seeing your kindness and connection to your animals.
    Love from Fran

  9. Maria, I love what Lisa Dingle wrote…and I have a thing for Octopus art..as my favorite subject…ha ha Not popular in the majority but sure is fun to create. Love your POST !!! p.s. I’m off to take lessons on painting Day of the Dead faces ….can’t wait. xo

  10. Oh, Maria!! Dear, Dear Maria!!, Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, thankyou……Annie

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