Every piece was gorgeous, but one held me spellbound, Ascension. It was the one painting that affected me in a way that went beyond admiration to a place filled with questions.

I wanted to ask, what sparked the idea, how many hours did it take, where did you begin, what was the most challenging part?

But, it wasn’t just practical questions that came to mind, I wanted to ask about the philosophy beneath the imagery. It seemed as if the artist was expressing how we all evolve on a continual basis, never veering from the cycle of growth.

If that were true, I thought, we wouldn’t make the same mistakes twice and I’d had enough failed romantic relationships to understand that the common denominator is me. I kept repeating the cycle. So, what did I need to do differently; how could I emerge from the dysfunction of my youth in order to have a loving relationship? Especially when the thought of romantic bliss sounded boring to me.

I thought my mind was asking a rhetorical question until the answer hit me… drama is my comfort zone. I was used to “crazy.” I grew up with it and I was dating my way through my family as a means to understand them. Even if it looks like we’re regressing we’ve subconsciously changed the “scene” of the lesson in an attempt to, once again, face and overcome our own self-imposed limitations. I hadn’t been making mistakes, I was being brave enough to face my past over and over again.

I was just as broken as the people I blamed, but acknowledging it was the first step in healing.  I bought Ascension that afternoon because the breakthrough was major. If I could take a closer look, meditate on the imagery and the message, and allow my soul the time and space it needed to evolve, I knew that I would discover bliss would be far from boring.

Now, I make Ascension a part of my daily practice. I mean that literally and philosophically. Every time I look at the painting, I see something new. When something catches my attention, I’ll sit comfortably, close my eyes and ask myself why did I notice that? How does that individual image make me feel? What is it about the image that hooked me and why?

But, I know ascension can’t be achieved in a protected environment, it’s tested every time I walk into the world and interact with people, places and things. I recently learned how much growing I had to do when I accidently ruined a surprise for my son. It was his first photography exhibition and my daughter and their father were flying to Chicago to attend the show. I wasn’t in the country at the time and said, “At least Rae and your dad will be there.”

The silence that followed said it all… he didn’t know they were coming and I didn’t know they were surprising him. Each of them accused me of purposely ruining the event. My daughter said she couldn’t trust me, my ex-husband accused me of sabotage, and my son said he didn’t know what I was capable of anymore. It triggered a familiar reaction… shame and self-blame.

“How could I be so stupid?” I thought. And then I looked at the painting and saw the light in the hand of the girl. A simple truth came to me. I wasn’t stupid or unlovable, as I’d been made to feel as a child, I was human.

I made a mistake. There was no ill-intent, AND I wasn’t any of the things they accused me of… they were. My daughter couldn’t trust herself, my husband was a Saboteur, and my son didn’t know what he was capable of. People see what they are.

I’ve only had Ascension for a month, but in that time, I’ve grown exponentially. I can feel myself getting closer to the light again. My essence is a part of what was, what is and what always will be, pure energy. For now, I happen to be human (a brave decision for all who chose to incarnate), but that’s the least important detail about “me.”

A relative stranger recently said, “You’re not just human, are you?”

“No,” I laughed, “and neither is anyone else.”

I can think of no better name for this powerful work of art, as it plays an active role in my daily Ascension. This is the first limited edition painting I’ve invested in and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. In this case, money can buy ascension. Now, if I could magically learn how to draw, that would be nirvana.

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