The blog of Maureen Claffy, fine art painter based in Chicago. Explore her insights, inspirations and motivations as she gets raw and shares how she releases her resistance to love piece by piece, in order to paint in the flow of pure creativity and passion.

When Valentine's Day meets Ash Wednesday

About a month ago I wrote a letter that radically transformed my life. I had felt the need to write it for quite some time but I lacked clarity and vision. My heart and my child had made it very clear that it was time for a new story with someone who had wounded me deeply. I didn't know how a way forward was even possible.  

It turned out that this confusion was a gift because it gave me time to surrender.

When I finally did pick up a pen and a beautiful piece of drawing paper around 10pm on February 13th, 2018, the eve of both St. Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday, the words came from God. They came easily and beautifully. They were healing and kind. I do not doubt that It was a miracle.

Around midnight, I folded the letter inside of one of my "Compassion" love notes and placed it on his doorstep with two pieces of his Grandmother's stemware. Oh, I had loved her. I had loved them both. Then, I felt time literally move me forward.

I want the story of my life to be full of love. Resentment makes that impossible. Beautifully, I learned this time out that compassion for the "offender" was the beginning of forgiveness. I do not know what is in his heart and what he has suffered. Compassion was the opening I needed and I realized that while looking at a painting I myself had painted on my own note card entitled "Compassion". Too funny. I have been told that my work is healing. I am so happy to get in on the gig, to feel the healing, to be giddy with freedom.

What really freaks me out is that my own hand and the pen that it held were the instruments of my compassion and liberation. I am still in awe over the whole thing.  And in gratitude. 

I remember a time not very long ago when I thought that forgiveness was something I awarded an individual who had properly apologized to me. I had understood forgiveness as an act of will or an internal decision. I now know divine forgiveness as this huge, wild and magical gift that has the power to radically separate the past from the present and open up the future, a future where the past is covered over in a gentle and mystical veil in way that I can't explain. It is as if only the good from the relationship remains in my memory. 

I have known Love as the Healer, the Protector and the Guide. I now know Love as the Liberator. 

And I know this freedom in part because of my friend Jim who is always telling me what to do. That is one of the reasons that I love him. When I started "Sending You Love Notes" and placed them on he had a lot to say, mainly about the Buy Box and the A9 algorithm. Lucky for me he also said "if you are going do this Maureen then you need to set the example. You need to write these notes, lots of them, every week". Thank you my friend, for bossing me all the way into my own freedom. The hand with a pen is a powerful weapon for personal liberation. I intend to keep writing and I am sending every individual reading this all of my love, always.