could you love me?
all of me
even the parts
some people find
too emotional or flighty or
d a m a g e d?
could you love
the parts of me
that react poorly
when i’m in pain?
and would you love the
parts of me that are
s e l f i s h
and the jealous ones
and can you love
me even when
i am a bit immature
and very impatient?
could you find it
i n y o u r h e a r t
to love my whole heart
and not just the
parts of it you like,
those ones that
make you feel good and
that are romantic
and thoughtful, patient
or pretty or kind?
could you love me
if we were very different
in a handful of ways,
if I didn’t believe in
the things that you do
or if i did believe in things
that you thought were
w r o n g?
would you love
all of me
even if i hurt your
f e e l i n g s
if I had bad days
or made you
a n g r y
or if we sometimes
seem a little
i n c o m p a t i b l e?
would you still love me
if I was reckless and
wild and a bit
c a r e l e s s
or if I cry sometimes
and feel sad
for no apparent reason at all?
would you still love me
if i made mistakes
and some bad decisions
or if I someday changed?
can you love me
all the way
without giving up?
can you love me
despite all my
i m p e r f e c t i o n s
will you still
love all of me?
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Depression lies. This is a truth, and it’s something that many of us have seen or heard by now, either from firsthand experience, through therapy/counseling, or by word of mouth from a friend, loved one or article. If you haven’t learned this already, I’m telling you now. DEPRESSION IS A DIRTY LIAR. Depression tells you all manner of lies about yourself that will keep you right in its clutches. And from the pit of pain you are trapped in with it, these things sound true.
I want to tell you that not only does depression lie to you about yourself, but it lies to you about other people. And it tries to twist your personal pain into anger, bitterness, and jealousy. It hides the truth about so many things and lies to you; it lies about who you are and what you are capable of, it lies about the lives, struggles, motives and emotions of others, it lies to you about how they see you and feel about you. Like a parasite, it does this, further isolating you.
Know this: Nobody is perfect. Not a single person has the perfect: body, face, life, family, job, past, present, or future. All of us struggle under some or all: bad days, tough circumstances, past and present mistakes and poor decisions, lost loves, painful abuse, death of friends/family/children, dreams shattered, hopes crushed, illness, debt, job struggles, family problems, relationship difficulties, or failures of one kind or another (and more). This is, in fact, one large side of the coin of human experience.
We all, to some degree, suffer these things. Nobody is immune. Nobody is perfect.
The coin does have two sides. Even though it is sometimes hard to see, life is full of beauty and light, as well. (I am a firm believer that we need a balance of both “dark and light” things to be most at peace.) For those who find some way to keep pushing, growing, seeking the light and celebrating the joys in their lives, the above tribulations *do not fail to exist* and *do not fail to burden.* If those people don’t always wallow publicly in their pains, or share every painful detail of their failures with you or the world at large, it’s not because they want you to be unaware that they have pain. They are not attempting to hide their ugliness or trick you into thinking they are prefect. It’s likely because they recognize that the only way to keep a head above that strong, pulling tide is to focus on light when they can. Or maybe they are just lucky to have some small snatch of DNA that is buoyant. I don’t know.
I speak from my own heart, so excuse me my inaccuracies.
If you are hurting, struggling, or need help – if depression is LYING TO YOU – reach out. If you feel like everything is falling apart, coming undone, that others are perfect while you are not – reach out. If the darkness closes in so much that you are having trouble seeing the light – REACH OUT.
“Can you help me?”
“I want to talk.”
“I need help.”
“Do you have a minute?”
Do your best to reach out for help, to a loved one or friend. If you can’t bear to talk to someone you know, please contact a professional you know or use one of the following:
- Crisis Text Line http://www.crisistextline.org
You can text a trained crisis counselor about anything 24/7, confidentially: Text “GO” to 741-741
- Crisis Call Center http://www.crisiscallcenter.org
For emotional help, support, or information of any kind.
1 800 273 8255
Text “Answer” to 839863
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Contact about anything you are dealing with or want to talk about.
1 800 273 TALK
- Helpline Center: Quick and easy access to information about health and human services.
For answers, community connections, or hope during difficult times.
Finally: I wish I could personally help you. I would try to if your need was evident to me and/or you reached out directly, as a friend or even as a stranger. However, I cannot open myself up to anonymous persons trolling me online. I have my own pains and life issues. I am not perfect; I carry my own burdens, just like anyone else. If I’ve missed your pain or a way I could possibly have helped you, I am truly sorry. It does not mean you are not important. Everyone is important. Above all, I hope you find the help you need.
Please seek help.
Stop listening to the lies depression tells.
Do you ever get to a point where you’re feeling uninspired, in a rut or generally, well, slumpy? (A highly technical term, I know. Also, I may have made it up. Shhhh.) Anyway! I know the feeling – intimately. I believe that artists and creatives can experience this periodically, maybe even cyclically, when they’ve kind of been plugging along consistently over time… and I think it’s even more common in this age of social media and sharing where we get into a routine of posting posting posting, especially if we start feeling pressured (by our peers or just by some kind of internal need) to meet the “demand of the audience.” In my most recent “slumpy-time,” I found a way to re-inspire myself with my phone – mobile creativity helped me refocus and gain perspective.
At the end of 2014 I was feeling definitively slumpy. In the time period leading up to that feeling, I’d walked through some stressful, emotional things and dealt with some rejections that made me re-evaluate why I even make art and also to ask myself something like, “Is what I create just pure crap?” (By the way, if you find yourself asking this same question, it’s a sign that you’re totally slumpy and you’re also probably being a total jerk to yourself, so stop it, okay?) The answer to the second question, if you haven’t already guessed, was NO… and for me, that’s mostly because of the answer to the first question. I decided, as I considered all of this, that I wanted to really re-focus on why I make art, and I needed to find some way to inspire myself to get that focus back.Read More»
Students with learning disabilities give their teachers some heartfelt advice. (Via Brain Highways)
Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, November 4, 2015
This isn’t just a message for teachers, but for everyone. It’s a message of tolerance, of learning and accepting and working with the differences in others. It’s about helping, loving, providing, and allowing room for them in our world. It’s about lifting them up by not holding them down with our rigid expectations.
In the past 9 years (and most intensely in the past year or so) I’ve pushed myself repeatedly to “unlearn” a slew of things that I was (directly and indirectly) taught that kids are “supposed” to do because it’s “good behavior” and “proper learning technique,” and I still have to remind myself of these things on a regular basis because some of them are so entrenched. But they’re silly, and I refuse to be intransigent.
Look at me when I’m talking to you.
Stop making so much noise.
To each of these: guilty. And it is always more about me than him when this happens. !
I have so much more to learn from watching and listening to what’s important rather than folding to and repeating inflexible, unhelpful rules that are shoved down our throats to keep order above all else.
When our hearts and minds are open, there’s space for light to enter and allow growth, both inside and around us. We all learn and achieve slightly differently. Molds suck – break them; let them be broken. You might learn more, too.
“Just ask me: what does your brain need right now?”
I have the gift of being able to capture my son’s life, and his essence, in images – already I look back through them and marvel at what happens when passion, love, skill, and an observing heart & mind come together. I can see his life unfolding and see his different personality traits emerge as I look through this growing archive. It blows my heart and mind.
Talk about bittersweet. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
By the time I recognize this moment this moment will be gone, but I will bend the light, pretending that it somehow lingered on.
~John Mayer, Clarity
This work by Lotus Carroll is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
To license commercially, please email.
It occurred to me that while there is a fun element to going all out with these monthly recaps, they were previously painfully long and ridiculous (both for me to create and for you to read). Going forward, I’m going to exercise brevity.
In that vein, the most important moments and feelings, the ones I want to remember from March (and share with you) follow in images and poetry that I created throughout the month.
A bit of sorrow.
Family love and togetherness.Read More»
I’ve started taking a lot more photos with my phone than I used to take. I still shoot with my larger camera(s), but I’ve enjoyed the simplicity of using my phone: I don’t have to “pack” it up, I don’t have to lug it around, I don’t have to worry about lenses (though I do have little ones I can put on my phone). When I take photos with my phone, I get taken back to the basic idea of capturing a moment, rather than worrying so much about things like fstop and shutter speed. It’s kind of liberating! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being able to control those elements and really create an image that looks as I’d mentally envisioned it, or have a more powerful tool so that I don’t miss a shot because of variable available light, etc. But in taking and editing a daily photo with my phone, I’ve also reminded myself that with a few basic tools, no matter how I shift those around (camera, photoshop, lightroom, scanner, iphoto…. or my phone and some apps) I can create art that sings of the world around me, who I am, and what I’m doing and feeling.
I can look back through all the photos I took in the past month (regardless of capture device) and see a story that tells all those things for me (with the help of my memories, of course). Here’s what the story of my life and thoughts in February looks like when I do that.
A simplification of huge, life bending concepts when applied daily:
big things are little.
little things are big.
it’s up to you how much credence and attention you give to any of them.
Some days you feel really small, and defeated, but you know (from experience and faith and hope and dreams that you can’t give up on) that love will help you, that love is greater than any other thing in your life that might try to distract or overpower. And so, before your journey ends, long long before, you know you should always seek it, no matter how discouraged you may be about that fight at any given moment.
I think that a lot of my life has been spent looking for perfect love. I could hypothesize about why that is (and often do) but the main issue is that it’s non-existent. There’s no scale or grade for love; no love is greater or lesser than any other. There are moments when I check the tally marks in my heart and count up all the time I’ve wasted wishing for someone who “wouldn’t hurt me that way” or someone who “really knows me,” and if I think of these as tears in a bucket, the weight feels crushing and regretful.
But I don’t want to think of this all as wasted time, rather, it’s been a journey of learning. It may have taken a long damn time, but I’m finally realizing this, and it feels really big, bigger than that bucket of tears.
All (any, every) love is a gift.
Love is bright and shiny and scarred and broken, it has wings or scales or feathers or skin, it is strong and it is weak, it is straight on or sometimes crooked or angled, it is first and second and third and fourth chances, it is falling down and getting up, it is crawling and walking and for damn sure it is flying. But it’s all love. And love is a gift. Hell, love looks funny sometimes, but it’s there all the time.
You have to learn to see it right in front of you, don’t parse it or weight it, and then take it without judgement.Read More»
This past month…
I quietly (shhhh!) started working on a project I’ve personally challenged myself to: create a piece of art every day using only my phone (no other camera or computer software) and write something with it. It has been a wonderful practice for me so far, helping me work through emotions, keep my proverbial and literal eyes open, and share my writing passion (I’ve been a poet all my life, but I don’t always share my work).
If you would like to see all of these, you can keep up with me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/lotuscarroll
“We” are not calling this a “365 Project” because I hate those and I never finish them. This isn’t one. So I will. Shhhhh.
Here are my January favorites (sans poetry):
This image, in particular, was difficult to create with just the phone. I was SO excited when I finished. Mad props to the Image Blender app, which I used for compositing and masking.
Had a salon visit with the family. This mirror insisted that we take a family selfie before we left. I obliged the mirror, as one does. I mean it’s huge, look at it. You don’t want to piss off the huge mirror.
Braden opted to shorten his previously long and glorious, flowing hippy locks.
Word has it he might go even shorter soon (hint: he hates actually taking care of his long hair, even though he thinks it’s “beautiful” and all).
I did that thing that makes you feel kind of stupid where you’re framing up an image with your phone and then your dumb thumb hits the camera-reverse button right before your smart thumb hits the shutter button.
So, I now gift you all with iPhone Photo Composition Concentration Face…Read More»