Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Twenty Years Ago

My friend just forwarded me the information for our 20 year class reunion. I'm glad I'm typing this because I don't think I could utter those words out loud about myself lol. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in the throws of an impending midlife crisis. Yes, I may occasionally utter that 40 is the new 20, but that's because I can appreciate that many people are stepping up and living their best lives without the constructs of agism. The older I get the more inspiring it is. I am happy to embrace that thought, and way of life.

I've been reminiscing on where and who I was in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-five. To be honest and real my life was a complete and total mess. I was newly graduated, accepted to college, and holding a terrible shameful secret. It's information I have thought long and hard about sharing, but I've decided against it. I was just barely an adult, (and I use that term for legal purposes only 18 is pretty far from being a grown up in so many aspects), yet I had some very grown up decisions to make with only weeks to spare before leaving for college. I wish there were someone else with whom I could share culpability with when it comes to the choices I made. However, at the end of the day the choices were mine alone.

I remember sitting in a therapists office a couple of months after my entrance into university. My whole goal was to desperately find someone who could validate my actions. I needed someone to give me a REASON why I had made so many poor life choices. I needed someone to tell me that there was blame I could place squarely on the shoulders of someone else. That would be my saving grace. Those answers would be the magic pill that would relinquish me from all guilt. More vividly do I remember the dead cold clinical stare in her eyes as I reached our for help. I was to be little more than a case number. Perhaps if I was interesting enough  I'd be fodder for conversation over dinner and wine with a friend or lover. It was at that point I almost gave up all hope. I've never felt more defeated and less valuable in all of my life. To this day I am not sure what gave me the will to go any further with my life. Fear of death? A praying mother? A selfish will to live? I'm not exactly sure.

I can say this, the life I led and the decisions I made resulted in 20 years of second guessing myself. Cloaked in contrition and a quest for redemption, I have spent the majority of these past years trying to make up for my past shortfalls. There were literally years that passed in which for the most part, I was going thru the motions without actually living. If there is a silver lining it would be that time spent soul searching did give me a modicum of wisdom, as well as, an abundance of empathy that other take much longer to obtain.

It's been since I've settled comfortably in my 30's that I finally had a revelation that continually punishing myself for a past I cannot change was for lack of better words STUPID. I spent a good 15+ years not truly enjoying the life I was building. What a complete and total wast of time and life that was. Sure I loved my family to the best of my capacity. But it wasn't enough. Worse yet I was incapable of accepting love. Even worse yet, I resigned myself into believing that I was not truly worthy of receiving love.

One day I decided if I'm going to do this thing called LIFE, I might was well start living. Spending years in ministry and seeing people with similar or even worse pasts with me not just survive but thrive, gave me hope that moving on from a dark past is possible. For about 2 years now I have been completely consumed with letting go of everything that brings me shame and pain. It's been an amazing process.

I have learned there are no good excuses for my actions. There is no running away from my mistakes. I have to accept that I made poor choices. There's no way around it. I did bad things. I have learned that there are REASONS for every action, but that doesn't excuse you. There is no fixing some mistakes and you can't take them back. But I think the most important lesson I have learned is that almost nothing lasts forever. Those things, those actions, and those circumstances are OVER. It's DONE.

I was thinking about the phrase that nothing lasts forever. It was really resonating with me as I tried to find things to refute the concept. Everything I came up with COULD potentially have an end. Friendship, marriage, work, material things, are all at the very least temporal. Even if it is death that separates you from them. Legacies may last a long time. But eventually they are little more than a footnote in a book about the past, that is forgotten by modern men. The only thing that I could think of that lasts forever is love. It's the only thing that I can think of that transcends time and even death.

I have heard it said (and come to believe) that love is an energy. In my belief system love is based in spirit.  It swirls all around us and never leaves. If we allow it, that love can be shared with others open to accept it. So I hold on to the love that exists within me and that which has been offered. This has been both my saving grace and source for healing. I owe it all to the love I possess and that which has been so generously given to me. Though the list is small of those who have truly loved me to life, that coupled with what resides in me has been enough to heal and make the rest of my life what will be the best of my life.

Peace and love friends xoxo...

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