A significant day for The Picture Healer

Sam Tench / Photo blogs / / 1 Comment

I am sitting outside in the unpleasant humidity that seems to have dominated our summer this year. I’m mulling over the fact that February 2021 is rolling to a close today. This leaves me with reservations. Now we’re approaching Easter. Where has the time gone? I’m confused; where did time actually go?

For me, I feel like we were celebrating Christmas last week, cleaning up, figuring out what to do with the leftovers and now, here we are on the verge of March!  The days are chugging along too quickly; sometimes, I wish I could press a button to control time. Right now, I’d like time to slow down. Each day I watch as my two girls grow a little more into the adults they are destined to become, which is intriguing and heartbreaking at the same time. The two little souls who are my best achievement and most complex challenge in life admittedly leave me feeling exhausted at times, but I love this time in their lives.  The evidence comes every day as I watch in amazement at the things they do and the statements that regularly come blurting out of their mouths when I least expect it.  Even at their tender ages of six and eight, I’m experiencing times when they don’t want me to be involved in whatever they happen to be doing.  Like it or not, they’re growing up; likewise, I guess I’m growing up, too.

As each day passes, I become more aware that time stands still for no-one.  If my girls could see everything that comes along with being an adult, maybe they’d be in less of a hurry to grow up. That’s hindsight for you!  And so, as I sit here alone, in a moment of welcome peace and quietness, I reflect on this current life chapter, my children’s lives, and how this all fits into the greater puzzle of what could be coming our way next? I am hopeful that the next piece of the puzzle will be satisfying, rewarding and fun.  A time to immerse myself in what really matters to me without feeling selfish for doing so.

At this point, you may be thinking this blog sounds especially deep and personal. Maybe it is, but for a good reason. You see, today is highly significant in the life of Sam.  A source of a real inner sense of achievement and a slight sense of weight lifting off my shoulders.  Why?  Today I have completed stage one of the project I have been writing about since New Year’s Eve.  The vision that suddenly came to me in all its rawness and naivety has evolved into a clearer picture and purpose.  I am lucky to have amazing people around me who have guided me through the process. There are many reasons why this project is important for me to follow through to its completion. And despite the many obstacles I’ve faced thus far, I’m super proud today to announce the completion of the first stage.

Again, you may be wondering, “What’s the big deal?” All will be revealed soon! Something within myself is guiding me and advising me to keep it under wraps for now. However, I can share that there are many reasons why this is a significant event, and today, I am sharing two of these highly personal reasons with you.

My two main reasons

  1. Like many other people within our society, perfectionist traits, low self-esteem and the unrelenting tendency to be overly critical of everything about myself have had a very limiting impact on my sense of self. Some such debilitating and dominating thoughts have included:
    • What I did and didn’t do in life.
    • The friendships I did and didn’t have.
    • The intelligence I did and didn’t have.
    • The prospects I did and didn’t have in life.
    • Right down to the body I did and didn’t have.

Realistically, this list could go on and on. Over the years, it has led me down the path of having a very limited experience of life, and I’ve wondered, “Why was I born?”  Had someone looked into a crystal ball and told me years ago I would have my own website/blog featuring MY writing and photography sometime in the future, I’d have told them to stop being ridiculous. Who was I to think I could do such interesting and possibly important work in my life?  Even with two university degrees under my belt, all I could see was a failure.  My eating disorder (ED) always let me know that my university degrees were mere luck, and I was not good enough to achieve anything significant.

Do you know people who seem to have it all going for them?  I have never viewed myself as one of these so called ‘lucky ones’, the people destined for satisfying careers and lives with prospects galore. I’d always be on the outside, watching others do great things. Likewise, I never believed I could do anything that gave me any sense of challenge and, ultimately, the self-appreciation that the individual within me had always been craving. However, through lots of hard work, I’ve discovered a meaningful life for myself that perhaps is beginning to take shape. It’s a challenging path, though, and unfortunately, too many people continue to be stuck on such a path with no relief in sight.  I’m one of the lucky ones who has find the resources to get the right help and guidance. Along the way, I’ve had my fair share of bad advice and experiences and had I not crossed paths with particular people, who knows where I’d be or what I’d be doing with my life right now. You simply can’t make the change alone.

How does this relate to the completion of stage one of a mystery project?  Quite simple, actually. I’ve never had self-belief and had I not persisted with my search for the right people for guidance, this would not be my current reality. I would never have had the courage to start The Picture Healer (which did take a bit of convincing from others), nor this current project. Never could I have envisaged putting myself out there in such a big way, or believing I could achieve something significant.  This ‘stage one’ is a massive step.  And there are more steps ahead, with fresh challenges to face.

  1. My second reason relates to my two young and impressionable children who are growing up so quickly. As their primary role model, I play a significant role in shaping who they become and their life values.   As females, I want them to know life’s possibilities are endless so long as they are willing to try, believe, and persist. I’d be devastated for them to have my ED experience; there’s no fun in that dismal place I want my daughters to know they can do anything they want. Having something they love to engage in is important for their well-being and something they should never feel guilty for having or doing.  I want them to believe in themselves, in their unique gifts and to feel confident to share their gifts with the world. I want them to be risk-takers, to believe that they are worthy and intelligent individuals who deserve success—but doing so with humility. Being respectful of the people around them, their family, friends, even people they have yet to meet. Everyone is dealing with something we may not be able to see.

Looking forward

One day my children will learn about my experience with ED. It’s a conversation that needs to take place.  What will they think? I hope they can appreciate my efforts to equip them with the belief that anything is possible.  Setting this positive example is why my work with The Picture Healer, the highly secretive project, and the new skills I’ve learnt along the way, will be valuable resources.  Resources that will help them see whatever they choose to do is possible because I showed them through my own example.

There’s no doubt, life will deliver a few knocks, but that should never mean my daughters, or anyone, should give up.  In essence, The Picture Healer and my new project provide me with the means to demonstrate there are no limits. I want to be the mum who equips my children with a multitude of positive messages. Tomorrow is a new day. While they grow and mature,  we can feel lucky to work together in managing anything life throws our way.   Eventually, my girls will have the experience and desire to follow their instincts without my help or guidance to edge them along. They’ll have the courage to walk through life, knowing they can do anything they want.  At such a point, the hard work invested in them will have been time unquestionably well spent.

1 Comment

  1. Julie Johnson  —  1 March 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Once again a well written piece of work Sam and I particulary liked the way in which you expressed reason 2 very clearly and positively. Not sure where you are quite going, however what I can hear is that you feel very positive about your path forward and the imapact it will have on both Hannah and Georgie and do not appear to be still spinning around on that wheel of confusion which helps no one. I feel that you are coming to a sense of time, past, present and future. We can only deal with the past, by all means remember its negativity on your life but try to shove it aside to live in the present and aspire to find a future which meets personal goals and challenges. Looking forward to the next chapter, all the very best wishes Julie. xx


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