My Heart

You don’t have to be young to be innocent and naive,
Just inexperienced.

“Don’t practice unprotected sex”
What about unprotected love?
How do you protect your heart?

We often disrespect each other
Without even being aware of it.

Each little barb adds another brick to the wall,
Or we put on another mask to hide our pain.

Another layer that deadens the intensity of all sensation,
Until love becomes just a romantic memory,
Of what was once a tantalizingly sensuous experience.

by Cheryl McDonald,  2004©

If you would like to listen to me read this poem, please click below.

This pencil painting and poem called My Heart , are another in a series on vulnerability. How do we find a balance between protecting oneself and sharing oneself in a relationship. Learning to listen to our bodies, taking time for self-care, setting boundaries, and sharing them in a gentle way to build trust and appreciation of each other is necessary. 

Respect for each other is important to keep us from building walls of protection and closing off communication. Staying in a relationship requires trust and respect as well as being able to share our needs in a way that can allow our partner to share theirs. 

This logic is not just for personal relationships, but for all our relationships. If we could learn to listen to each other, and find ways to trust each other, maybe we could get back to working together as well.

As I often say, we are in this together. 

Have a happy day,


If you would like to know more about this painting or see some of my other works, here is a link to my website

Published by cherylmcdonald

Thank you for taking a little time to get to know me. Making art has been my life, I love to tell stories through words and pictures. I am a multi-media artist working in photography, watercolor, various drawing media, and sometimes digital art.

7 thoughts on “My Heart

  1. Wonderful nude & moon Cheryl…this is so personal and sometimes I don’t get the meaning of certain things? I am very empathetic so this confuses me! What is to the left of the bear face?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always love questions and that is a mask over she is holding over her heart. It is a mask I made of a Panther that has two sides, one black/dark and furry and the other white/light and smooth. The thing over the mouth area is a jeweled brooch that I created to mean speaks the truth in a loving way. Surreal art is always full of symbols and often they have meaning to the artist and may be perceived differently to the viewer. So confusion is not unfamiliar to me. Often though people see very different stories than I did in a piece. I love that it speaks to people differently. And sometimes it may just make no sense to people and that is ok also. Thanks for writing. ❤️


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