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I’ve been in bed for the last few days with a horrible headache and an overwhelming pain in my left jaw. Perhaps it’s a toothache or maybe I have a really strong case of a sinus infection, whatever it is it feels like my whole head is an internal war zone. It’s always something.  But I’m not letting this stop me from enjoying the happiness I feel inside. I have so many ideas for future artworks, I’m so inspired. I won’t let this pain or any money problems,  hormone storms or anxiety stand in the way of exploring all the good things in life. My art. Writing.  Pleasure. Love.  Happiness.  Success.  Just being myself.  I know it might sound like something obvious and natural,  but for me it’s been a life long struggle to be able to just be myself – all the way. I mean, without allowing other people to punish or censor me.

And at times when there hasn’t been anyone to punish me, I’ve punished myself. I’m working hard to break all those destructive behavioral patterns. And I’m making progress,  but it’s still very hard for me to just be myself and embrace love and pleasure without expecting a dark shadow hiding behind it. I thought getting over my traumas would be the hardest thing I ever had to do, but letting go of the fear of punishment and humiliation when embracing the good things in life is without a doubt the most difficult and complex process I’ve ever gone through.  People from my past manipulated me into believing that I didn’t deserve good things, that feeling pleasure and happiness made me into a selfish person. They made me believe that I should be shamed for wanting to be myself without apologizing for it. That wanting to express myself made me into a narcissistic attention whore.

I am sort of hoping this pain in my jaw is real and not some subconscious self punishment for being so very happy.  it’s a good thing that I’m doubting the pain like this, it means that the days of self punishments are over, that I’ve moved on – that I’ve moved passed their ridiculous manipulations. It’s a sign of growth.

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