How I view my self my world and my future predicts how I will think feel and behave.
Those are the words spoken by my college professor teaching us about cognitive behavioral therapy. Little did I realize that every teacher that ever provoked curiosity, compassion, and courage wanted me to know just THIS. One in particular, Christopher Bursk - my 'Morrie' …my 'Sean Maguire’ (all Bostonians in some sense - how ironic). He helped me to acknowledge that little girl inside of me - that youthful inner child that exists inside us all. The one that begs for joy, chocolate water ice, and the ocean shore. And, no doubt, we should never ignore that child. Nonetheless, she, however, doesn't understand logic as I do in this moment, and because of that, she still fears the depths of the ocean waters, the nightmares of her past, and scarcity-driven authority. Even more feared… abandonment. Not because her adult self can't forgive; yet probably more because she has abandoned herself more than anyone else and that type of forgiveness means that she must take ownership for something she has done; continues to do; and feels hostage to.
So many years it has taken me to understand the pain of this little girl who breathes, pleads, and begs sometimes so intensely I lose the balance of life’s rhythm that flows between life and death, inhalation and exhalation. Those are the paradoxes we live. The dichotomy between recognizing our truths - our perceptions of self, world, and future - and very well-knowing that when it is distorted that it is NOT our truth - or that it does not need to be if we learn how to reckon and rumble with it so eloquently, empathetically, and compassionately. To stand grounded and realize that other's behaviors do not equate to our worthiness. To stand strong in our convictions because we've already battled the most important war - the one inside our head. To stand vulnerably knowing that our fears are legitimate and we may very well lose ourself, but not more than we have already gained by choosing courage.
To be conscious, aware, and present is our choice to accept the paradox within our minds, hearts and soul. The moment in which we realize we belong everywhere and no where. The moment in which we find energy and compassion to hold space for that little girl who holds onto the painful, traumatic, agonizing, shameful moments of our past; yet for the very reason to keep us grounded, humble, and providing a sense of connection. Embracing the paradox of our truths provide us with the deepest lessons of life and grant us the endless opportunities that our journey has to offer. Embracing the paradox means I don’t ever have to abandon that little girl again. CMK