The Best Version of Me

The Best Version of Me



What do you do when the best version of yourself is never enough for someone else?  
This belief pattern started when I was eight years old. My mum met and married a man after a whirlwind romance.  My father’s replacement would literally put his hand out and hold me at arm’s length when I went to give him a hug.  This rejection caused my little heart to cry with despair.  After losing my father to cancer a couple of years prior all I was looking for was his unconditional love and affection.  I couldn’t change want I wanted, I was just a kid.   
I fell in love at twenty and married a man whose attention was anywhere other than the relationship he had committed to.  Reinforcing the belief that the best version of me was not worth loving and was never going to be good enough for anyone. 
My second husband and I met at work. As like attracts like, we were thrown together by the Universe with our pending divorces and emotional distress.   After a few false starts we decided to try and make a go of it.   Here’s the irony, I thought he was the one that came with baggage!  I had cut ties from my ex and saw myself as a childless, free spirit ready to explore the world of the Thirty somethings.  Whereas he came with two young children, parents steeped in tradition and an ex-wife, who for the sake of the children was still very much in the picture.  
With the addition of two impressionable girls into my life I did not want to repeat the experiences I had as a child.  So, I always went over and above to make them feel comfortable, welcome and loved.  You could say at that time I had a Wonder Woman complex.  If I wasn’t organized, then I couldn’t control the outcome.  If I couldn’t control the outcome, well that thought was terrifying.   I was conscious of needing to feel accepted and I was literally stuck in a pattern of old belief systems that were self-destructive. I was on a collision course heading for disaster.  
Eleven years into our relationship I was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  At the time circumstances would have it that neither of my step daughters wanted a relationship with me.  I felt totally and utterly defeated.  A crescendo of years’ worth of self-sacrifice and desperation to be loved.  The ultra-best version of me was never going to be good enough, ever.   So where did this leave me?  What lesson was I not learning here? Why did each karmic challenge seem more heart wrenching and harder to pull through? This one contributing to and almost costing me my life.  
The original wound of my eight-year-old self was still playing out and cancer was my opportunity to fully awaken and see things very clearly.  It was never about the people that rejected me, they were just the mirror of what I didn’t want to see in myself.  Being brave enough to confront my old beliefs allowed me to understand that I have purpose and no longer needed to look outside of myself for love, acceptance or validation.  
I love my authentic self and thank my teachers in life for helping me find her. 
Michelle Potter
Visionary Artist

Just for Today

Every time someone unsubscribes from my mailing list my heart dies just a little. When Mail Chimp sends me my stats and someone has hit that unsubscribe button (and I see you, name and all) my inner child silently says goodbye, grabs a box of tissues and has a quiet cry in the corner. 
You see, I’m lucky if I send about four newsletters a year so it’s not like one of those annoying promos that you sign up to and then your inbox gets a constant stream of unwanted notifications. And yes I have my days where seeking a more permanent source of income would be far easier on my bank account than trying to make myself stand out in a sea of other artists. Social media seems to be a big black hole of never ending self promotion and finding the next ‘best way’ to be seen. I find it all absolutely exhausting and days like today I just want to throw my hands up in the air and open up the SEEK app. 
I’ll be the first to tell you I undercharge, much to my own detriment. ‘Why?’ To get business, hell I even do stuff for free to get my name out there. The last mural that spanned across four full days…….yep zip, zero, zilch.  Who works for free these days, practically nobody.   It frustrates me when I see people pay a lot more for what I would consider very mediocre work. Meanwhile the bills keep piling up on the fridge and my husband is working his fingers to the very bone so we can keep our heads above the water. I feel an enormous amount of guilt not being able to contribute anything substantial to the family income. So I concentrate on  expanding my knowledge, stretching my skills and I work on improving my craft every single day.  Every single day.
Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love what I do and the expectations I put on myself are enormous. There is always a hope that perhaps that next painting, that next Facebook post, that next Instagram picture is going to be my big break. It’s completely exhausting and some days (like today) soul destroying. Yes sure, I have some small wins but it feels a bit like body surfing. You think you’re about to catch the perfect wave but the water recedes just before the wave has its chance to break. It’s like the Universe gives you a glimpse of all the possibilities but never enough traction to make the difference. 

So just for today I’ll give myself a bit of self care and tomorrow I’ll put my big girl panties on and start again.

……… and if you want to hear from me feel free to join my mailing list