Mixed Media Artist

Tender Warrior

Tender-Warrior10″x20″ mixed media painting on wood. The sides are red and are 1.5″ deep.

This painting is available HERE

I have felt angry for weeks, maybe even months. An anger burning right below the surface of my skin. I have vibrated with this anger.  I was an angry warrior. I went from hearing “it’s nothing” to hearing “mastectomy” in a matter of 6 months, and I was pissed.

The other day when they finally gave me the surgery date,  that anger disappeared and was replaced with sadness.  I feel sad. My heart is so tender right now and my tears flow easily.  I am now the tender and sad warrior, I wear my heart on the outside of my skin.  I feel  raw with emotions.

To be honest, I prefer this feeling of sadness.  Anger is such a difficult emotion. It is so violent and irrational, so toxic. It made me crazy, like I wanted to escape my own self. Run away from my own mind. I felt out of control.   I feel more myself than I have for awhile.  I have always been a melancholy sort of person so this is much closer to normal to me and it also allows me to feel grateful.  I am  grateful because this is not a death sentence.  I am one of the lucky ones. I know that. I am allowing myself to feel the tender sadness of knowing my life has been changed. I am different now and I don’t know if I will ever be the same again. My sadness is allowing me to find bravery that comes from kindness and peace, not a bravery that comes from anger and fear.   I have moved forward in my journey and although I know I have a long road ahead of me, I feel more at peace then I have in a very long time. I am embracing my tender warrior and thanking her for giving me a little bit of my self back.

“The ideal of warriorship is that the warrior should be sad and tender, and because of that, the warrior can be very brave as well.”
― Chögyam Trungpa


12 responses

  1. Maria: may you find comfort in knowing that you have a whole community of lovers of your art, of followers of your blog, who are thinking of you, sending positive thoughts your way, and praying for you. Those of us who have been touched in one way or another by the C word know full well the range of emotions you are going through right now. Surround yourself with the warmth and well wishes of family and friends. Thinking of you from afar…Louise in Ottawa

    October 14, 2015 at 4:57 pm

  2. margot egan

    Dear Maria,
    I have been a loyal fan of yours for a long time now. I know you have a struggle ahead of you and need all the strength and support to face it. I am sending all the positive wave lengths I have to you. You have brought such joy to others, including me, through your art and your obvious love of your children.
    All the very best,
    Margot, in Waterloo Ontario

    October 14, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  3. I wish you all the very best on the next phase of your journey.

    October 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm

  4. This painting is so cool

    October 14, 2015 at 7:48 pm

  5. Oh, Maria! I am so sad to hear your news. Just wanted to tell you, as a 5-year survivor, that you will get through this. Your kids will get through this. It is, as you said, not a death sentence. You will be different in some ways, but it will not define you. The most important thing I have learned about cancer is that every person needs to “do” cancer their own way. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to rally the troops, do so; but if you prefer solitude, then take it. It is your “journey” and while it is not one you would have chosen, you do have some say-so in how you endure it. Remember that what defines us is how well we rise after falling.

    October 14, 2015 at 9:41 pm

  6. My heart is with you!

    October 14, 2015 at 10:41 pm

  7. Martha Bryce

    I am so sorry about your feelings of betrayal, anger, heartbreak and sadness. Like you, I prefer the sadness. Although we are changed irreparably by this, that change forced on us causes a metamorphosis, as we no longer walk through life without an appreciation of its fragility. Those of us who so choose can force the metamorphosis past “survivor” and into “thriver”, a moniker which is preferable inasmuch as it exhibits a good thoughtful determination about how we proceed. Your art is brilliant , so I can tell you already have tha creativity to move forward with grace and growth, albeit without the growth. Joy to you!

    October 15, 2015 at 1:02 am

  8. jackie butcher

    I am so sad to hear this. I will be thinking of you and certainly wishing you the best. I don’t have words to express how I feel but I know you are a brave lady and will get through this scarey time with flying colors. My thoughts are with you in the days ahead. Love to you and yours.

    October 15, 2015 at 3:07 am

  9. david benbow

    I was very saddened when I heard your news yesterday. I immediately reached out to my friend at the Pink Underbelly, who has already written a better note than I could. We are both huge fans of your beautiful art. Do whatever you need to do in order to reclaim your life. Big hug.

    October 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm

  10. Maria, I am wrapping my arms around and surrounding you with prayers. Having gone through a life crisis myself recently, all I can say is to let it all out, with your loved ones and with your art. Not all you create may be suitable for sharing online, and that’s ok – what’s important is that you create and rant and cry and ulitmately reconnect with your inner peace. I am visualizing you there……

    October 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

  11. Maria, you are a love. For more than what you have stated here. You appear to be on a most BEAUTIFUL PATH. Your sharing will bring more peace and strength for all others. Love and peace along with prayers, feel with all your heart. xoxo

    October 22, 2015 at 12:30 am

  12. Tammy

    thank you for being brave and sharing about your cancer. You inspired me to start painting years ago after I saw your paintings on your blog and was absolutely blown away by your amazing art. I have loved following you on your blog, I even won a little monthly print one month :o) Anyway what Im trying to say is you bring MUCH joy to others, and I am praying for healing in your body and spirit. Much affection, health and peace to you!

    November 4, 2015 at 1:50 am

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