The world can be a very scary place. Even scarier can be realizing that so often we miss the most amazing moments that are there to serve as rewards, true manifestation of the results of our progress. We miss these moments partially because they are filtered through the protective boundaries created in response to traumatic experiences.
I have grown so much over these past two years. Having faced many past hurts, I have an ever-growing appreciation and love for myself that wasn’t there for years. I am turning 25 in August and something about that milestone triggered me to take a look back.
Every single time I took a step, I felt both liberated and terrified. I was met with a new resistance within myself that would trigger me to question my path. At first, there was an overwhelming sense that things couldn’t possibly be this good, this calm and relaxed in my life. It was almost like I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, expecting the good that I was finally beginning to allow myself to experience would just fall apart. On some level I suppose I felt that even if it did, I would be right – and being right can sometimes seem more gratifying than being happy.
I have learned that the loss of innocence – my loss of innocence, was inevitable. Whether it was the traumatic things I experienced in my childhood or the terrible things that happen to innocent people all over the world, an awakening occurs for most of us. We must cross this bridge at some point.
If I could go back and have a conversation with my younger self I would tell her to spend less time trying to reconcile why these bad things happen. I would tell her to focus on undoing the patterns and fear that would eventually cloud her later years. The same patterns and fear that would often make her feel like a prisoner in her own life.
Pain has the power to destroy worlds and it always begins with your own. Adversity is a non-negotiable in this world and to try to sterilize the planet of it is futile.
I cannot explain or fully comprehend why it has to be this way. Perhaps it doesn’t and we have not evolved to be able to see that. When I think about specific events in my life, I can only imagine how different things could have been if I had said “why not me?” instead of “why me?”. For better or worse, the things that happen in our lives change us. They make us who we are, and in every moment we have the capacity to grow. This is nothing new, we have all seen and heard it a million times.
For years, I felt such intense resentment and in some cases, hatred for individuals that contributed to things that had a negative effect on my life. I had every reason to hold on for dear life, because on some level I wanted to ensure that there was a clear and distinct difference between them and myself. It made me think that they were in a place where they were unable to connect, to support, to love.
Things I went through gave me the awareness that not everybody cares about me. They gave me an appreciation for those individuals who do show up in a way that inspires me, who love and support me. They enriched the quality of my experiences because in working through the related trauma, I discovered the balance between my strength and my vulnerability.
I am still scared from time to time. Scared of my vulnerability, of my femininity. Scared of taking the risk of being open, thinking that I will be taken advantage of. The difference now though is that I am equipped with boundaries that allow me to put that fear in perspective. I am no longer a child, or a girl. Nobody can take anything from me that I do not permit. Without my life experiences, I would not have realized that my gifts are not for just anyone to experience.
It is natural to want to undo the damage, to pretend that these things don’t or didn’t happen. It’s easy to think that the answers lie in punishing the perpetrator, and maybe it is. I know it wasn’t in my case though. I am learning to look at those involved in my past hurts with a sense of love and understanding that I wasn’t always afforded.
This is the best thing that I have ever done for myself, those with whom I have a close life and the world at large. In working through these things, I am experiencing the most beautiful unfolding. It is as though I am finally giving myself permission to regain my connection with who I was before all of that. I have done many things that I regret, to myself and others. The more I connect with myself, the more I connect with everything around me.
Maybe it will take me years to fully open, but it’s worth every second. I am so grateful for every step of the journey and I want to share it with the world.
LA 🙂 ❤