A Valentine Heart

Visibly upset after a session with her therapist, the adolescent resident, who was in tears, came into the art shop asking to paint. She was given a blank canvas. She began to throw paint from a brush and with broad strokes formed a heart while tears continued to stream down her face. Slowly gaining her composure, she silently tended to the painting rhythmically, applying more paint in order to define the heart. Putting aside the brush, she began to intentionally “work” the paint with her fingers forming impressions that penetrated the layers of colors and gave the canvas a texture that draws you to almost feel the sinews of the heart. No longer crying, she stood back and breathed a heartfelt sigh and with that released the pain that she brought to the canvas.
This image dominates my own heart as I come to this Valentine’s Day week. Grateful that this young girl has not only the opportunity to express her aching  heart, but more importantly because she was able, in such an intense way, to release her hurt allowing her to move beyond it and heal.
What a privilege to be a witness to a child’s courage. What a gift to be party to such a transformation. How edifying to see such resiliency.
To all who have a heart for our mission here at Hillsides, Happy Valentine’s Day!

One Comment on “A Valentine Heart

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