Photo taken by contributor Carrie Hilgert, a photographer and painter from Northeast Kansas who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After venturing into digital photography, she became interested in documenting her life with self portraits. This became particularly helpful when her life started to fall apart due to depression. All her other creative outlets left her, but she could always process her very dark feelings with self portraits. While she is doing much better now, she maintains compassion for those going through these hard things and hopes that her photography can give an honest insight into something that makes most people feel very isolated and alone.

About this photo: “You can talk about surrender all you want. You can sit under a full moon and burn pieces of paper and wish upon a star to release the old. But sometimes? It doesn’t work. And maybe it’s not that it’s not working. Maybe, sometimes, it’s just not time. Maybe you’re not ready. And that’s ok. 

Magic happened today. I really did lift off the ground. Healing is possible. But it has to happen when you’re ready and I wasn’t until now. Part (or all) of forgiveness is really about yourself and saying, ‘Right now in this very moment, I am just fine. I am whole. I am love. I am right where I need to be. I forgive this moment. I forgive this hatred. I forgive myself for all those times I trusted people. I forgive myself for all those times I was a despot with my expectations.’

I’ve been doing that all year. Over and over. And it led me here.

It’s a hard truth to swallow but that person that hurt you is your teacher. Your mirror. Maybe you didn’t do the horrible thing they did, but I can say with 100% honesty that my darkness is just as dark as anyone who hurt me. There is something to examine in every relationship we have. It takes guts. It takes surrender. It takes a warrior’s heart.

And on the other side is healing. When we heal ourselves, the energy in the collective goes through the roof.

Find more from Carrie at her website.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here ▸ Now a 501(c)3 non-profit! Please donate here.

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