A couple of years ago I found out that I had a 9/10 ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score and Complex PTSD. While some might find this news concerning it was actually quite encouraging to realize that there was a way forward for the things I thought might always weigh me down.
What I also found out at that time is that I’ve got very high resiliency. For every ounce of adversity I experienced God has provided a pound of promise.
As part of my inner work, I’ve learned to focus on that resiliency including as many memories of hope from my childhood as possible.
One of my earliest memories was being gifted a used Light Bright set. The black papers were used up, but I was able to find an unused plain paper and create my own design. I still remember sitting in the corner of my room, carefully piercing each piece of fluorescent colored plastic though the paper and into the light. The thought crossed my mind that evening that if I could create in that way then I could do anything.
This is a portrait of Michelle Howell, a hardworking farmwife, mother of five, author, and advocate. On the left side of the bust you can read text from the poem “Anyway” that was on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” “The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.”
Leslie Nichols, Artist