While attempting to paint my son when he was five a freak accident happened that transformed the paint to settle to look like me instead.
At first I didn't like the painting. I pondered this for awhile while also realizing how unloved that little girl was. I remembered wanting to be happy like the little girl in the painting. I made a conscience effort to love that little girl.
This is where the healing came. Realizing that I could love myself as a child was very freeing. I started being nicer to myself, more patient. I treated myself to things that my little girl would like to do. And with this new love that I was experiencing, I was feeling better about myself as an adult.
Then I went to Mexico to find the monarchs. I loved monarchs as a little girl in Wisconsin. They don't live in the pacific northwest where I now reside. So the two day trek into the Mexican mountains was a gift I gave the little girl and she loved it. I left that mountain that day a changed person.
I'm no longer afraid to do self portraits. And I'm sure my little girl is happy now.