holy gratitude - day one. / by Erica Kathleen

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It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been struggling. It’s no secret that I’m having a difficult time dealing with my health and chronic pain. Honestly, I’ve been in a very very dark place for quite a while. And it’s funny, but most of the time, when I’m in the dark place, I can’t tell how dark it is, until I start to come out of it.

This last dark spell, was paralyzingly, debilitatingly, dark. There was no color, there was no hope. There was no joy, no life… just nothingness, steeped in pain.

To be really, brutally honest, I had given up.


The fog started to lift, maybe two weeks ago. But then two days ago, something huge shifted inside of me.


I realized what a hold of the darkness had over me and I realized that I was squeezing it back, even tighter.

I was clenching onto it so tightly that I couldn’t see straight. I had allowed it to swallow me whole & I was feeding it, secretly, in the quiet darkness.

When I saw my doctor last week, I asked her for a referral to a therapist. I told her that I needed help.

I got the referral and they called me to make the appointment, and then told me that they were booked out until April. At first, I was like, “well that’s a lot of fucking help, isn’t it?!”

And then I decided to do something about it. I found an app, which sounds funny, but I’ve been listening to it and learning and doing the exercises for the past two days and I have felt such a huge, huge, beautiful shift happening inside of me.

Not that my physical being is any different, but my attitude, it’s completely new.

If I can have any control over my mental attitude, I’m going to fucking do it. I am going to do everything I possibly can to make myself feel better.

I don’t want to give up anymore.

I don’t want to give in.

I’m done waving the white flag.

I get that there are a lot of things that are out of my control. But if I can make just a tiny difference, if I can shine a little glimmer of light and bring a little bit more happiness and joy into my life, I’m going to fucking do it.

So, this marks day one of a new practice.

This is day one of Holy Gratitude.

And today, this day, I am grateful for new beginnings.

I am grateful for the opportunity to Begin, Again.

I am grateful for my Courageous Heart.

It’s funny. When I started this painting, for me, it was about being courageous… in that, you know, I’m going through a lot of shit & it’s terrible, but I’m still here, even if it’s laying in bed, in pain, crying …

and NOW. Now that it’s done, it means something quite different to me.

NOW, honoring my Courageous Heart, means, NOT giving in,

NOT letting myself be swallowed up in the darkness,

NOT giving the pain the power over every fucking part of my life.

Today, this “Altar of the Courageous Heart” symbolizes the strength it takes, to pull yourself out of the darkness.

It is a beautiful reminder, to me, that it takes immense COURAGE, to stand back up, dust yourself off, dig deep inside & LOVE yourself enough to create a new beginning.

So, my friends, here’s to new beginnings & Courageous Hearts.

So much LOVE,

xo, EK

PS. There are only 2 "Altar of the Courageous Heart" left! Available HERE.