This word made of twisted wire hangs on the wall of my studio, right above my computer. And last week I learned a hard lesson about this word, trust. My friends would attest that by nature I'm a trusting soul. I begin every relationship from my center...I lead with trust - you needn't earn it from me. I'm not guarded. Every emotion shows on my face. I can't play poker.
Many years ago, I felt a tug to start a creative workshop for girls, Mighty Girl Art. For many years I marinated in kind remarks from friends, "Wendy, you should lead a workshop for girls", to which I would smile and respond, "I will when the time is right". I knew that Mighty Girl would be patient. I knew that she was gathering strength as she waited. In the meantime, I had other muses to chase. I gave birth to a son and motherhood became my priority.
Then three years ago, as my son became more independent, I heard her call out to me again. So strongly that I literally choked back tears when speaking about it. I heard about a Mermaid Warrior named Mccabe and I went to her for guidance and some tools to navigate with - but what she gave me was so much more. Trust. She trusted that I could manifest my vision, in my own way...and that was precisely what I needed to answer the call. I am forever grateful to her for her honesty, trust and continued support. Thank you, my Captain!
Since the launch of Mighty Girl Art three years ago, I've received many emails asking me for advice and support. Each time I am overwhelmed by humility and respond with honesty and trust. My wish is that other creative women will open their hearts and homes to young girls and empower them with many forms of creative self-expression. I believe that by sharing our authentic selves with young girls, we are giving them permission to be who they are. It is a daunting task in a society whose subtext is conformity under the guise of belonging. Therefore I feel a sense of duty to help, support and promote any creative sister who wishes to serve the girls in her neighborhood, and I do so with trust.
Can you imagine how I felt to see some of my words and works presented on another site without so much as an acknowledgment to Mighty Girl Art? Can you imagine how I felt when I learned that someone I trusted took them from me with out asking? No, I wasn't angry nor was I flattered. I felt devalued. The trust I had so freely given had been betrayed.
After careful consideration I realized that it was a disservice to my soul and to the person who offended me if I did not address it. It was a difficult thing for me to do because I do believe that it was merely an error in judgment and that the overall intentions were kind. I received an apologetic admission in reply. Now all I can do is trust that this person will make amends by assigning credit and rewording borrowed text.
When one takes, borrows or copies without asking & without ascribing credit - they take with it our right to choose, our voice, and our trust. And that is why it feels so violating. It's not a compliment.
There's a little known fact about, Mr. Colton who wrote the statement, "Imitation is the sincerest of flattery", in his book Lacon (1820) - the fact is, he didn't exactly have the best reputation. Author Willis Goth Regier revealed a direct quote from Colton's publisher who described, in frank detail, Colton's questionable character. Perhaps that is the reason why this adage offers so little comfort to those on the receiving end of this form of flattery. That said, I prefer not to be on either end of Colton's adage. I hope that my work radiates the sparks of all those who have helped light my path, but that the flame of my own voice is what shines. It's a beautiful thing that we all inspire each other creatively, but we must respect and honor the unique gifts that each of us offer, and we must treat them gingerly.
Robert Fulgham wrote in his book, "All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten":
- Share everything
- Play fair
- Clean up your own mess
- Don't take things that aren't yours
- Put things back where you found them
- Say you're sorry when hurt somebody
Be mighty, be brave and most importantly, be YOU.
B U (be you) by Satch 2010
"It is impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone who has no boundaries, with someone who cannot communicate directly, and honestly. Learning how to set boundaries is a necessary step in learning to be a friend to ourselves. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves - to protect ourselves when it is necessary. It is impossible to learn to be Loving to ourselves without owning our self - and owning our rights and responsibilities as co-creators of our lives." - Robert Burney
Labels: art and craft