My healing journey began about ten years ago when I started developing a chronic condition after a very stressful year. I have been highly attuned to nature and my surrounding for as long as I can remember. My favourite and most vivid memories from childhood are about climbing trees and exploring the environment around me. So when my health got worse, I realized that I need to go deeper to resolve it, rather than just medicate myself. Since then, I have been through a lot of ups and downs. Some downs were almost unbearable, but in the end, I would always come out the other side. That’s how life works, really – unless you’re dead, there’s always hope.
For me, cultivating hope and trust in myself and the Universe has played a major role in my healing journey. Another important part of it has been recognizing the beauty inside and outside myself. That’s what brought me to writing and photography. It is how I relate to the world, how I explore and show my reverence to it. I can write a lot about pain, suffering, failures, isolation, devastation, anger and victimhood, but I choose to focus on beauty, love, victories, support and connection. Photography is something that brings joy to my life and, as I have seen, to the lives of others. It allows both the photographer and the viewer to pause and connect – connect to each other and the world around.
What fascinates me about photography is that, in essence, it is not creative in a sense of actually creating something. For example, drawing, illustration, design bring something new to the world, something that wasn’t there before. Photography simply captures what was there in the first place. In some sense, a photographer is a reflector of the world, he or she is a tracing-paper, that captures a moment of time and space. If the question goes like, “If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s nobody around to hear, does it make a sound?” I can ask a counter-question, “If there was no one to capture the moment, did it exist?”
I see my job as a photographer as a way to capture the beauty of life. Recently, I was on a trip with my classmates and stopped to take a picture and one of them stopped with me to see what I was capturing, saying “I want to see what you see.” The phrase stuck with me. I get it that photographers see the world a little differently: we notice the details, shades, colours, patterns that others might not. Or maybe others do the same. What separates a photographer from a non-photographer is that we actually stop and pay attention. Look! Life is all around you, and it’s effing amazing! So the least I feel I can do is to stop and appreciate it for a moment. And if that means capturing something that others can relate to as well, then I feel twice as happy to do it.
Healing is a process. Sometimes it can be easy and unobtrusive, other times, it consumes all your time and energy. I don’t think we ever heal fully, we simply go from one level to the next and start the process all over again. Such is human nature – standing still and being happy with what there is, is almost impossible to master, if only for a moment or two. And that’s what my job is all about – capturing that moment of beauty that we call life so that we pause for a few seconds and feel life run through our veins, feel connected to something bigger and remember that we are here to live this beautiful thing called Life and the present moment is all we have.
Author: Nika Dulevich
Photo Credits: Nika Dulevich (You are welcome to follow Nika’s instagram happiness.expedition if you want to see more of her amazing photographs and read more about her journey!)