|Flashback to the 80’s… family portrait. I’m the one on the far left with hippie hair.|
What beautiful weather it has been this week! It has been in the high 70’s and low 80’s the last several days here in my small town. I went upstairs last night in the dark and I couldn’t stop smiling. I had left the windows open on the upper floor all day, so the breeze was coming in. The blankets smelled like a canvas tent that was left out in the sun baking all day, and then left to cool in the evening. A peaceful, childhood memory smell. I suddenly felt like I was camping. But there was something else. I was surrounded by a humid smell of warm earth, grass and the breeze in the darkness. It was such a surprise to come upstairs in the dark and suddenly feel like I was outside in a tent, with these outdoorsy smells mixing with the familiar laundry detergent smell of my comforter. Ahhh, love it.
So, I’ve been thinking about life, again. I’ve been thinking about destiny. Particularly, what kind of life a person is destined to fall into. I used to think that it was random luck that I happened to be born to the parents I was born to. I used to be more than quite a bit depressed thinking that I had only one life, and that I would never get to re-do my childhood, that I never had a choice who my parents were. I mean, if you had a traumatic childhood, where is the fairness in this situation if it messed you up for life and you didn’t even know you were messed up until long after it was too late to get help? That is a grim thought. I used to hate what my parents did to me while I was innocent and unknowing. I hated how I was shaped and molded. I didn’t like the genetics or family history I inherited. I didn’t like inheriting skin with severe acne, crooked teeth, the shape of nose my father had, my body shape, a tendency toward scoliosis, a genetic tendency towards adrenal burnout and several other illnesses. I didn’t like being born into a family with a long line of mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, criminal acitivity, sexual deviency, neuroticism, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and pyschological abuse. I used to dream how it would have been different if my mom had married someone else, and I consequently had ended up someone else.
Those feelings of frustration I used to entertain have thankfully dissipated in the last year, and I feel quite free now. I know now that I have lived many lives, perhaps thousands. I have chosen, and can choose to be in any situation imaginable. I’ve had quiet, calm lives. Lives with loving parents, security, peace, happiness. I’ve had more difficult lives. I’ve knowingly chosen each life I’ve lived. I’ve looking into it and previewed it while I was a spirit, trying on each life to see how it would fit. To see what I could learn and how I could grow from experiencing each life. I purposely chose to experience the traumatic childhood that I went through. Ha ha! I’m one brave, tough cookie!
Sure, you can advance more rapidly in development and learn so much more about life by choosing difficult lives on earth. I must have been in a hurry to learn a lot in this lifetime. You know how it is when you meet a person who is chronically ill or has suffered psychological or physical tortures. Why is it that these people are often more wise, loving, and mature than other people? Adversity has a way of either crushing a person or bringing out the best in them. When in a difficult life, you are forced to dig deep inside yourself, and you learn things about yourself and the world that you otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.
So I was an eager beaver, an over achiever when I previewed my life as it is now and said, “I want the body and life of AJ!” Ahh, yeah. I can see myself saying that. Always drawn towards the challenging situations, the dramatic, always eager to get ahead.
I’ve been asking myself one question lately. If I had never been exposed to my father during my childhood and currently, what would I now lack in understanding? What have I learned about life from my childhood and teenage years that I wouldn’t have learned in another easier life? I started writing a list of what I’ve come to understand and appreciate.
If I hadn’t experienced the life I’ve lived, I wouldn’t be so sensitive to the needs of children, the helpless, the ones who have no protection, those who are sick. I wouldn’t be as compassionate to animals. I wouldn’t have valued so much the power of a calm voice. I wouldn’t have known how important love is. I wouldn’t have understood how poisonous and damaging religion can be. I wouldn’t have understood how power combined with a lack of love is damaging. I wouldn’t have understood the far reaching implications of a life based on fear. I wouldn’t have understood how damaging a need for control is. I wouldn’t have understood how healing forgiveness is.
I am quite relieved to know that I chose my life. I’m hugging my inner self right now. And joking with myself- “You have always reached so high! I’m going to have a talk with you about this need to learn so much so fast.” I do love myself. I’m glad that I didn’t fall into this life as a victim of chance. I’m glad to know that there was a plan, and I chose to be in my life. I’m even quite grateful that my father chose to be a fellow actor on the stage of my life, willing to play the part that he did. Because of him, I am so much richer in the area of compassion. Because of him and what I’ve experienced and learned, I will be able to love others more. And loving others means I’m simply loving myself more. We are all one.
Art by Luke Brown http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/luke%20brown
“When we harbor negative emotions toward others or toward ourselves,
or when we intentionally create pain for others,
we poison our own physical and spiritual systems.
By far the strongest poison to the human spirit
is the inability to forgive oneself or another person.
It disables a person’s emotional resources.
The challenge is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves
and to develop the power of forgiveness.”
~ Caroline Myss