A personal share today about how the death of my mother and my fertility issues inspired an event I had at the studio.
If you don’t k now, my mother and I had a mother/daughter photo shoot in May of 2018. It was a surprise for her, we had a fantastic day, laughing, smiling, enjoying each other – we were very close, and I had wanted to have our relationship captured for years. But, like most women, my thoughts about how I looked held me back from doing so. After working through my confidence and body image issues, I realized that it didn’t matter how I looked. It mattered that we have our relationship captured.
May 2018 we had the best day.
August 2018, a mere 3 months later, my mother unexpectedly and suddenly passed away.
The regret and heartache I could have lived in had I not had our photos taken would be unbearable. I am so thankful that I worked passed my issues and we had this photo shoot. I took action so that no woman ever feels that regret. Stop using every excuse to hide from the photos – you need to be seen!
Here’s what I wrote…
The pain and heartache won’t stop me.
This past Saturday, I opened the studio and welcomed in women with free portraits for Mother’s Day.
I had this idea for awhile. I wanted to give women a chance to get in the photos, to stop hiding from being captured and to celebrate the relationship they have with those they love.
It is too easy for women to shy away from the camera, to take the picture instead of be in the picture, to let their appearance dictate whether they exist in the memories.
Honestly, I was worried leading up to the event.
Not having my mother here – would it be too much to handle, would I break down in tears, would I be able to be around so many mother/daughter relationships and only be able to focus on my pain.
Not being a mother myself – would I be able to relax, would I keep questioning when it was my time, would I be able to enjoy seeing the relationships between mother and child.
All of this leading to one singular worry – would my pain cause me to not be able to connect with everyone that was there. Would I be enough for them…￼
It was difficult. I did, in fact, cry –
mostly tears of joy getting to bring this event to life,
to see these relationships,
to offer women a chance to see their photos differently,
to release the way they look and celebrate the relationship they have with another.
I have learned how to take time for me though when something hurts deeply.
When I got home, exhausted after serving others for 6 hours, I didn’t talk much. I kept to myself. I took a warm bath, I did some meditation.
I allowed myself to cry and feel the hurt that exists within me.
To witness the emptiness that only the motherless can feel.
To embrace the childless woman within.
But I also rejoiced in being able to turn my pain into a deeper PURPOSE.
A purpose that I can pour in to, a purpose that lifts me up, a purpose that fulfills others.
I have found purpose in my pain and heartache. Though it’s awful sometimes, I am still committed to this work, to serve women, to help them on a path of confidence and self love.
I encourage you as you deal with the pain life throws at you to figure out a way to find purpose in that pain. That does not mean that what you’ve been through doesn’t hurt, that you push your feelings aside, or that you downplay what has happened. It’s simply a way for you to move forward WITH that pain knowing your will be able to impact another on their healing journey.
To Gabbi, Jenna, Andrea, Jamie, Chelsea, Rebekah, Jessica, Brandy, Lori, Wendy, Sam, Brenda, Linda, Candice, Suzanne, Jean, Emily, Leann (and anyone else that came) — THANK YOU for bringing those you love to the event. I loved the time we got to spend together and I hope you got something out of it!
To Amanda and Shannon – THANK YOU for being with me and helping with the event. I appreciate your love and support in my pursuing my passion! Thank you for seeing my pain, and helping me through it all.
When I sent the images off to the ladies that attended, I reminded them of this:
Remember, those who love you don’t love you for how you look.They love you for how you make them feel, what you bring to their life, and the relationship you have.This is what the event was all about – making sure that the relationship is captured as proof that love existed!*At the end of the day, you won’t look back at these photos and focus on how you look, you’ll focus on the relationship and love that was shared.That’s how I now look back at the photos of my mom and me – I don’t even see me, I see her, I see our relationship, I see our love, I see our lighthearted spirit!*Don’t let the way you look hold you back from living your life fully and letting your inner beauty SHINE THROUGH!
The pain has created a deeper purpose to help women EMBRACE who they are, be CONFIDENT with every part of themselves, and SHINE BRIGHT in everything they do.