After a systemic allergic reaction that left me with rashes and welts on different parts of my body recently (EDIT/update: docs weren’t sure what it was originally, but they ultimately decided it was a two-week delayed allergic reaction to antibiotics I was on recently), we took family photos that weekend…
I planned the shoot to commemorate the last 11 months of making memories…not despite it all, but because life is always / still meant to be lived.
Death and tragedy have reminded me of that in spades.
Though I started the morning with one swollen eyelid and one eyelid with a welt on it (the only visible reactions, everything else hidden by clothing), I knew deep down I wasn’t going to cancel these sweet moments with Josh & Nolan (feeling sad? have body aches? systemic allergic reaction? Get outside and get outside yourself and love up or be loved up).
But I wasn’t going to keep the shoot because I was going to push through and cause myself more pain. I’m not inside that stage of life or in that kind of relationship with my body, but, I would have kept it because of what is best expressed or explained inside these questions:
- Why do we only want to remember or commemorate the moments when we felt (or looked) “good”?
- And why would swollen eyes in a photo not be an amazing way to commemorate this moment in time inside a longer healing journey (which I’m currently on)?
[As seen in this photo, my eyes did cool and get back to normal]. Aren’t the challenging moments a big part of the reason we know our own goodness, the goodness of life, joy and our own light and lightness more deeply?
I decided early on as things didn’t look ‘so good’ that if the powers of Western medicine didn’t work to ease up my symptoms (there was no choice but to get the steroid for what the doc called a medium to severe reaction, so I received it at 9am and the shoot was at 2:30pm), I would take the photos to capture that moment in time anywayyyy.
Recently, I told a client that I thought taking photos during seasons that included some of our most tender or “weaker” moments, where we look more sad, perhaps, or are more internal, would be a lovely way for photographers to capture a human in his or her fullness.
I wish I would have thought of this years ago as I would have definitely taken photos to mark those first weeks or months after tragically losing Dino & Mom.
I would have.
How beautiful to remember the tenderness and the depth of my emotion and connection to my soul through those moments or seasons in life we typically want to hide from or bury.
The truth is that our fullness and joy comes from the tough moments; from that contrast — it has and always will…
I think if more of us allowed this truth to sink in, we wouldn’t hide ourselves so much in other ways. Instead, we would actually go for it and move forward on our biggest dreams, making moves, too, to have better relationships and generally allowing ourselves to be loved during all the dips in energy, faith or will.
Life is good, no matter where I’ll be today or tomorrow, this holds — rock or wave steady.
Let’s make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…
To the best of the rest of your life.
Life is good.