“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
― Maya Angelou
I never realized how huge a wall I have built around me until this week. I though maybe a gate, or a bubble, maybe even a trench, but not a tall brick wall layered in concrete! It must have taken years to build, because I do not remember being this afraid to allow love into my life, or be let myself be loved. Yet, as I look back, the first brick was laid the first time I felt betrayed. A hurtful childhood memory.
Memories are powerful. The ones I clung to, all my life, where the best of my childhood: making soup with rain water and dandelions, swinging on swings as high as I could go, spending time at my Aunt’s cottage. taking a 6am canoe rides with my cousin. I remember playing Candyland and Life on rainy days, playing “goggles Pisano” spy with my little brother, and walking to the “little store” as we would call it, and get a bag full of candy for 25 cents. One of my most favorite memories is building tents in the living room with sheets and chairs. I felt so important, in my own space, I would spend the day there being served lunch in my hideout.
So I held on to the good, not wanting to believe in there were any bad memories. I stuck those in the depths of my memory bank, and I guess they were hurting me far more than I thought. This is how I lived all my life: Always ignoring the bad, to the point that everyone was wonderful who walked into it, and even if they were not.
I am not saying it is wrong to see the best in people, on the contrary, seeing them in their best light is seeing yourself in your best light. BUT.. letting those people in, those who are disrespectful, hurtful and unkind, despite their “goodness” at times can be tricky. I became a master at staying blind to what or who hurt me; thus remaining in the dark to the pain I inflicted on myself. Yes MYSELF!
Without even being conscious of it .. walls started to appear:
“Hey fatso” said the kid to me. Up goes brick.
“You are so sensitive I was just joking!” another brick.
“I know you are hurting, but you should hear my story!” 10 more bricks.
“You do not deserve to be told you are beautiful!” a whole wall !
Damn tape .. enough now. Time to put you in the garbage and create a shiny new CD of called “Ode to Kim my love for you”
“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!”
― Maya Angelou
After a full year of rewiring, changing the tune, walking the walk, encouragement, support and surrounding myself with those who truly walk with me every step of the way, things stated sounding different. A lifetime of negative self talk and voices to chase out of my head, because truly, it wasn’t my heart talking.
You can bend me You can break me;
But you better stand clear…..
When the walls come tumblin’ down;
When the walls come crumblin’ crumblin’;
When the walls come tumblin’ tumblin’ down! ~John Mellencamp
This song has buzzed in my head for week now. Why? Because I had a breakthrough. All my hard work of listening to myself has paid off. I mean, totally listening to myself. This meant saying no to people when I didn’t feel like doing something. This meant taking lots of photos, reading lots of books, having hours and hours of cocooning time. Long baths, walks, talks, computer time (lots of it), decorating, painting, and throwing out or giving away what no longer served me. Truly hearing and acknowledging my children, and myself. Listening to what I needed and giving myself permission to buy, do and live my life the way I WANT to. If that means Sushi and Wine. Well I plan and reward!
Destroying the walls also meant, becoming the person I have always wanted to be: A responsable adult. I had to trust, and I started allowing myself to pay my bills on time, no matter how broke it would make me. It also mean regular appointments to the doctor, keeping those appointments, saying what I mean, and meaning what I say. After, every time I would catch myself acting with integrity, another brick flew off. Giving praise where praise is do, and thanking the Universe for the services which allow my family to live a cool and healthy life.
Un-building those walls, meant gratitude. Daily even minute by minute, at times, gratitude. Eliminating self-defeat and self-pity depends on being thankful every single day for something as little as a great cup of coffee. As I awaken, and I believe I am wide awake now, I see how nothing else matters than the present moment. A HUGE part of wall destruction depends on this notion. NOW.. only now exists. Yesterday’s dinner is digested, tomorrow’s is not even cooked yet. What I am savoring now as I write, the music in the background, the sunshine through my window, the feel of the soft socks on my feet, and the smell of fresh autumn air whirling through my apartment.. this is what I am experiencing at this exact moment. Why worry about next month’s rent, when rent is paid this month, and it has been paid every month since I have entered this space.
How did I know?
I spent the week with my mother. My mom, throughout this past year, has been my support, my soft place to fall. Even though she is not present always physically, she has phoned me every single day. I asked her last year if she could because I was in the deepest part of my depression, and I needed to hear her voice. She sat at times for hours listening to me cry.. telling me all would be ok. She never missed a day, and still calls every night at 7pm.
I truly felt, like she had my back, and my front. She never EVER abandoned nor judged me. My mom and my step-father of 90, were and still are an integral part in my healing. This is what I literally hung onto: their love and support. As the world (and yes some did) judged me because they didn’t understand my depression, I hung onto my parents (this includes my dad too and my bro) love. This led me to hang onto my own love. To treat myself the way my mother treats me, to love myself the way my mother loves me. UNCONDITIONALLY! Tough one to master, yet possible to achieve.
This week, as my mom visited, we watched our shows, giggled, baked, walked, shopped, and drank lots of wine. Then, one day, she was sitting there, sewing, and I decided to sit next to her. She put her arm around me, and I literally just let myself be held. I couldn’t do this, for the longest time, if a hug lasted too long, I would get uncomfortable and break the hug. This felt different. I accepted the fact she was loving and holding me. I surrendered for the first time in, oh.. 25 years.. maybe even more. I let my mother hold me to the point of tears. As I released, I melted into her and felt all of her love. For about a minute I felt like I was 4.. those times when no walls existed… trusting, pure, light, enchanting.. little child.. feeling safe and secure in her mother’s arms.
Allowing, allowing, allowing…
I allow love to come to me now, and I allow myself to love. That little girl I spoke about a couple of weeks ago, you know the one I left fishing at the dock? (You can read about her here at the bottom section of this post) As I was coming home from my walk and taking pictures, I turned my head, and there she was walking right next to me. I smiled in acknowledgement, knowing that she’s back, and no longer has to hide out in Magog. She feels safe with me again, and you know what?
I will never EVER break her heart again. I promised her and I promise myself.
Walls are built for protection, we do need them at times, however, do not let the walls become a tower you imprison yourself in. That is what I did, and it was lonely being Rapunzel for a long time. (see Daring to Dream, My Friend Rapunzel a post I wrote for FemCentral)
Today, only I can define who I am. Only I can trust myself enough to open the darn window and let the love pour in. YAY!!!