Past is Present.
Howdy, bitches! I’ve been watching many pinterest boards fill up with images and photos all about your lives and the things you remember from the past. As an observer, I see the events without attaching an immediate emotion or judgement…I’ve just been sitting back and watching the show. It’s everything that I’d thought and hoped it would be.
Some of you have messaged me to say that this challenge sucks and you don’t want to be a part of it. And that’s OK to. I get it. BUT. At least connect with the women who ARE doing it and watch their unfolding. Perhaps it’s less intense if you can also react to the challenge without so much emotion and personal involvement!
One reason I made this challenge is because of my own experience in reliving my past, and how freeing it was to finally deal with it instead of ignore it or run from it. I mean, there are obviously some awesomely great things that have happened to me. But as long as I hide myself away from the not so great things, then I can’t fully embrace the positives and I absolutely cannot embrace my present self.
At the meditation retreat, I had 12 hours a day…silent…and my past played in my head like a matinee movie. I couldn’t get away if I’d wanted to. And I did! I wanted to get out of my head very badly.
The things I was remembering about what my life was like growing up were all the things I’d tried to forget. And let me just say, I came from a mom and dad who loved me a great deal. They gave me everything they had, and more. They were determined, sincere, amazing parents. They parented the best they knew how. But even with the best of intentions, sometimes other people’s best doesn’t mean our lives are perfect. So when my life movie played in my head, some things came up I’d been trying to forget. Eventually, though, I couldn’t ignore them and the only way to get through it was to watch the movie as if it weren’t my life. As if it were a story of someone else. I separated the emotion and judgement from the facts. And I let myself remember.
making my mom cry when I wouldn’t listen to her.
making my dad get so angry he’d turn red, talk loudly, and then spit would fly out of his mouth all over me.
being spanked and put into my room for time out.
being disciplined at school for talking too much, not sitting still long enough, running too fast, not finishing my homework.
being in trouble with my teacher for forgetting to wear part of my school uniform that I’d usually left at home (the stupid red sweater!).
my orthodontist lecturing me about wearing my head gear (yes, head gear!) to school like I should have in 7th and 8th grade.
craving the feeling of being close and intimate with my high school boyfriend, and then feeling immoral and like a sinner for liking it so much.
making my then husband upset because I wan’t good enough at cleaning/cooking.
and on and on.
I don’t know, I’ve never typed that out before. Does it seem silly? Trivial> Like, what’s so bad about that?
I uncovered a theme with all of it, though. A current runs through my life like a deep river. And I’d never put a word to it before, until I stopped to recognize it without feeling threatened by it.
Everything I remember brings one emotion up more than anything. For me, it’s shame. Shameful. Sorry. Apologetic. Ashamed.
Mom, I’m sorry I made you cry. Dad, I’m sorry I made you angry. Teachers, friends, and husband, I’m sorry I let you down. I’m so so sorry I couldn’t be better.
When I looked at it like an outside observer, I told myself what any of you would have told me…
You have nothing to be ashamed about. You have nothing to be sorry about. You don’t need to apologize for anything.
It’s not your burden to carry.
I released guilt I hadn’t known I was carrying. I stopped making myself responsible for my mothers tears, or for my fathers anger. I released the judgements of teachers about an energetic and exciteable child they knew nothing about. I stood up for the girl that was smart enough not to wear something as ridiculous as a headgear in fucking middle school. I embraced a teenage girl discovering what love was for the first time and let go of the dogma that encouraged other people to label those feelings as immoral. I stopped carrying the emotional baggage of other people’s expectations for me.
You may have a different theme in your life for dealing with the negatives…a different emotion. Anger? Hate? Greed? Fear? Desperation? Whatever it is, it will be scary. It will keep you from wanting to walk back down the way you came.
Please, don’t be afraid. Please, walk down the path. Don’t react, just observe. See yourself as the child you were, but with the adult understanding you now have. Embrace that child and help her find her way to you.
This connection is vital for the kind of life you want to live and the kind of connections you want to have with your family. In order to have whimsy and play and freedom in your life, you are going to need your inner child along to remind you how it’s done!
Please, go get her. Welcome her into your life. She’s probably carrying a heavy burden, and if you can lighten that up for her, she will lighten your life up for you.
me at 4 and at 35. It took another couple years for us to actually meet.Share Tweet