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I CAN break free from the belief that I’m not okay. I CAN celebrate my expression as a beautiful part of me!
* The following is an update from the artist, submitted on July 22, 2013:
I never knew how significant my I CAN hand was, until now. For as long as I can remember, I had a passion for life. As a child, I loved to make up games and "shade" coloring books. I found peace with art—it was a rich world filled with color, texture and heart, where I was free to be me. As I grew up, my parents were embarrassed by my expression and art. Even when I chose art as my school and career path, they dismissed it, hoping I would "grow out of it."
My parents were good people, but they were very rigid in their beliefs. They had the strictest rules for me, being the only girl… what I should wear, how I should look, who I should see, what I should do. When I didn’t follow suit, they were angry or broke down and cried. Even though I knew my parents loved me, I always felt like a disappointment to them. I felt torn between their world and mine, trying to be the daughter they wished for, but at the same time, struggling to express the real me.
I CAN WE CAN has given me the courage to break free, standing hand in hand with others in our strength, resilience, and love. My I CAN hand represents my journey to now, to a place where I am creative, expressive and free. In the center of my hand, the colors are emerging and the darkness is turning to bright. I am learning to give myself the love and acceptance that I always desired, and to know that I am valuable, exactly as I am. I am breaking free of the negative feelings that have held me bound for so long and learning to embrace and express what’s beautiful about me!
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