How Could I Write A Book About Myself And Not Know It?

“No matter where you go – there you are.” Confucius

I shared my picture book, Glory in the Morning, with the world today. It is now available on Amazon. Getting this book into physical form and into the hands of children has been quite an experience. I had no idea when I was writing and illustrating the book, it would be a way for me to speak my truth. After all, there was no deep thought required to get words down on paper. It was just a fairytale that seemed to write itself. Today, I see it as a story that affirms my journey to wholeness. It reminds me of the powerful truths embodied in the Wizard of Oz. I’m curious if the author, Frank L. Baum, figured out that he had been writing about himself, too?

“Just be yourself, there is no one better.” Taylor Swift 

Glory in the Morning is for anyone who’s ever felt invisible. Growing up under the sharp gaze of a critical mother, I learned it wasn’t safe to be myself. Spontaneity often got me into trouble, so I silenced my free spirit. I devalued my thoughts and feelings. Worst of all, I suppressed my intuition. I used my mind and not my heart to make decisions. Cancelling out my “inner guidance,” and plugging into my mom’s rules, protected me from her wrath. Unfortunately, what kept me safe in childhood left me a shell of the woman I was born to be.

“With the help of God and true friends, I’ve come to realize,
I still have two strong legs, and even wings to fly.” Greg Allman 

After years of inner work and cultivating a connection with God, I became willing to share the “real me” with others. I knew I had to continue to grow. I opened myself up to trusted friends who helped to heal my brokenness. I began to see myself the way they saw me, not as a mistake but a gift.

Glory in the Morning gives parents a vehicle to share the power of being believed in and the realization that eyes aren’t the only way to see with their children. Kids don’t need my backstory to understand the underlying message of the book. They naturally intuit the deeper meaning just like we did with the wonderful Wizard of Oz when we were young.

It’s hard to know for sure why any of us are born. I’m certain creating Glory in the Morning is part of the reason I am here. No, I don’t think my picture book will heal the world. But I do believe it’s a drop in the wave of self-acceptance and love that is washing over our planet. In the pages, lives a hero’s journey. A fairy named Glory will disappear unless she finds two people who believe in her before the sun shines high in the sky. Can she do it? Does she do it? Just that I’ve written these words confirms that Glory and I are here to stay. Us invisible, not a chance!

Sue Shanahan



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About the Author | Sue Shanahan

Chicago artist Sue Shanahan is a children's book author, illustrator and portrait painter. Her blog, “Commonplace Grace,” can be found in the Huffington Post.

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