Instagram Shannon Purser

979,4 K subscribers 38 posts
this is literally me
06/28/2024 01:14
Part Four: Acceptance How do we heal? After we escape the siren song of self-loathing and dare to choose ourselves, how do we “handle the seasons of our lives?” A friend and I were talking recently about the unknowable, mysterious flow of life and how our attempts to bend it to our will only bring more pain and heartache. When I was young, acceptance was seen as defeat or laziness or an excuse to be easy on myself. We were always to be striving to be like Christ, even with the knowledge that we would never reach that goal in this lifetime. After leaving the church, I struggled with how to make peace with myself and others. How can I love myself as I am while also being committed to growth? If I don’t have to be god-like, if I don’t have to shame myself for my humanity, what are my standards of goodness? That’s when I came across the concept of radical acceptance. It’s a tool that is often used in therapy for survivors of trauma/PTSD. The gist of it is that denial or resistance of what hurts or scares us only prolongs suffering. We must accept that the past is unchangeable but we as human beings are not beyond saving. The only way to move forward is to engage with the present, to believe our histories do not define us. We look the scary truths in the eye and say “I see you. I know you are here. I can no longer leave you to fester and I will bring you into the light instead. You do not have to define me.”It has changed the way I talk to myself. It has changed the way I view others. Instead of being seduced by binary thinking, categorizing people into good or evil, participating in wholesale condemnation, I am better able to see myself, others and life itself in its fullness. It is difficult to live in that nuance. It will mean recognizing the weakness present in all humans, no matter how evolved or progressive or compassionate we are. It also means giving grace when grace is difficult to give. I’m sure it is work I will be doing for the rest of my life and I know it will be worth it.
06/11/2024 10:34
Part Three: RevolutionWhen I was young, I used to pray for God to take away my identity, my mind, my ego, so I could be filled with something better. I was a good kid, pathologically sensitive to the feelings of others and my own wrongdoing, but I felt the cold breath of condemnation on my neck. I obsessively reasoned with myself. I knew that God could forgive any sin but only if I recognized it as such and repented of it. But then, there was the matter of my being queer. My church & the theology passed down through my parents taught me that though God could forgive me being gay, I could never accept or act upon that feeling without betraying Christ. And while other temptations were fleeting, the undeniable fact of my attraction could not be forsaken. I tried. I saw how other queer people I loved were treated and talked about. They were instantly othered. “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Being told that wanting to love and be loved is worthy of hell doesn’t feel like love.I obsessively looked for answers. I read works by Christians who chose celibacy rather than accept or embrace their homosexuality. I found other, more radical Christians, who argued that scripture never condemned homosexuality at all. I didn’t want to lose my faith, my entire worldview. I tried desperately to reconcile the wonderful, happy, good queer people I met with what I was taught they deserved. But it wasn’t just the issue of being gay. Everything had been called into question for me. Did anyone deserve eternal torment? Did this justice make sense? Could I live by a faith that tore me apart?In the end, I couldn’t. I made the radical, terrifying, heretical, dangerous decision to try to love myself and others without condition- to trust that my heart wasn’t wicked and beyond cure. I resolved to keep the precious things I’d learned in my heart and release the rest. It didn’t happen all at once. My ideology changed fairly quickly but the twisted roots of self-loathing and fear are deeply engrained. I’m still digging them up. Still, to choose my own well-being and joy was freedom and power I’d never felt before. I didn’t have to face my demons on my knees, I could fight them myself.
05/21/2024 10:35
Part One: DevotionWhen I found @anetherealfire’s work, I was blown away by the beauty and detail and knew I wanted the opportunity to see myself in fine art. What was even more exciting is how encouraging Chris is to all his clients in helping them explore a narrative. I started to think about what story I’d want to tell about the journey of my life and how I could translate it into art.Ultimately, I settled on my experience growing up deeply religious, battling intense mental illness, and the nonlinear journey of healing. I’m so excited to show you all the stunning pieces Chris created so stay tuned! Devotion is about single-minded longing and submission. The comfort and safety in self abandonment. A desperation for hope and guidance that can easily be taken advantage of. When your eyes are fixed on heaven, what darkness escapes your notice? From Chris: “This artwork took 2 days to complete with over 40 classical elements combined together alongside digital painting to create the setting. The final result is one of the most visually complex, and intense pieces I have created to date for my Storyteller Sessions and is something I am immensely proud of to have worked on ⚔️.⁣⁣The story Shannon created and the themes we talked thru together are powerfully heavy topics, and I’m so thankful that she trusted me with this ????????️. ⁣⁣⁣*No generative ai used in this artwork⁣⁣
05/06/2024 06:11
???????????????????????????? part 2 (on film!)
04/10/2024 12:17
????‍❤️‍????‍???? ????????for @fashionbrandcompany ???? by @photosxkenna
03/28/2024 11:51
???????????????????????????? part onethe legend said to dunk your face for eternal beauty so I figured why not
03/15/2024 11:05
12/24/2023 03:14
11/26/2023 10:39
11/19/2023 10:25

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