You Can't Change the Past, but...
You can go back and be there for yourself during some of the most difficult moments.
A teaching I learned while in college at AppState.
This blog begins with a few background stories filled with vulnerable moments and ends with a full circle moment. :)
Story one: 2002-ish Boone, NC
When I was in college I took a class to fill a Humanities credit called "Symbolic Quest for Self". I took it because why not? This class was unique in many ways - we brought coloring pencils to class and were instructed to doodle while he instructed; we then journaled and interpreted our doodles. Our journals were the majority of our grades, and is is one of my few regrets in life is that this work was lost due to my own negligence. We discussed common symbols throughout our history as found in books, movies, and other works. Amongst our topics were the movies Shrek and CastAway, and other readings that seemed to have slipped my mind. The one book that I still own is called My Mythic Life by Jean Houston. In this book, she shares the above teaching as a practice. She offers that we remember a time when we were really going through it. Perhaps a moment that we wish we go back and change. Instead, remember this moment and be there with/for yourself. Hold yourself through these moments, and allow yourself to be held.
Story two: June 2003 Charlotte, NC
After graduating college, I moved to Charlotte. That part of my story is well-known. The circumstance behind it could be a whole book. Riding the line of vulnerable honesty and telling too many wild-ass details within this telling. I moved here to save a relationship that I had royally f*cked up. I can honestly say that I made some horrible decisions, and caused a lot of pain to many people who were immediately and tangentially involved in the situation. I paid for my mistakes many times over via public humiliation (both of my own doing and others), emotional and physical abuse (both of my own doing and others), and by lowering myself almost to a level of nonexistent status (both of my own doing and others). I moved to Charlotte and spent my first month living in a hotel room in a not-so-great part of town. I never felt unsafe, as I was working often to save up for an apartment deposit, and wasn’t alone in the room. The few times I did spend alone were spent in fear, guilt, and soooooo much negative self-talk. There has always been one night that stood out to me above the others. I remember feeling an almost other-worldly type presence fill the room. I was crying, and suddenly felt held. I remember questioning that feeling, wondering if I was legitimately crazy this time, and not being ready to completely forget it - more like filing it away for another day.
Story three: February 2023 San Marcos, Guatemala
Things were once again wild - lots of story, loss, grief AND also joy, gratitude, and love. It was the last day of 3 weeks of travel and I was determined to do something “super healing”. San Marcos is the healing-hippie hot-spot and there is no shortage of opportunities. In fact, there were so many it took hours to decide on the best course of action for the day.
The perfect final day ended up looking like: shamanic sound journey → shopping → new tattoo → tarot reading → dinner! I stand by that itinerary as a solid line up!
The next piece of this story comes straight from my journal - as that’s my best recollection.
Full circle moment.
From hotel room to now.
My Mythic Life - you can’t change the past but you can go back and be there for yourself.
Message from me (now) to me (then):
I love you. I forgive you. Your faith will pull you through. Remember your magic. You are the magic.
In that connection/conversation, we both softened into each other. Both her and I - we needed each other in that moment. We both needed that message.
Our journey’s facilitator posed the question: what does our dream life look like?
Lying on my mat in San Marcos in that moment - it WAS the dream. It was all happening for me in real time. Even with all my faults, mistakes, and complete f*ck ups - I was here now in this magical moment. I was traveling, healing, and living.
My work is on forgiveness - so that I may be more fully present and content.
The past is prologue.
~ William Shakespheare