Originally published August 25, 2020
I was fortunate enough to attend a course last week in the Okanagan amid our Covid-19 time. We social distanced, we shared stories, we laughed and a lot of ourselves came to the surface in the sharing. From here I was able to connect to my ‘tribe’, at least some of them. My expectation in going was to reconnect, fill my tank and really enjoy one or two hugs. No where did I think I’d really have time to reflect on the past, no expectations to revisit that part of my life.
Once I got there, I felt the lovely feelings creep in of belonging, acceptance and being surrounded by those I had missed when I had moved. I had hoped for and expected to enjoy a very nice and busy time while there.
During my time between and after my classes, something happened inside of me. I started to remember past hurts, old experiences that had really changed the course of my life. This place was where my life turned topsy turvy and even in the beauty of this city, hell emerged loud and proud. I felt every experience that occurred there… the good, the bad and the ugly. Every bone in my body felt the memories. Reflection, silence, tears and admiration of a life I fought through really emerged to a place where I smiled. I know, smiled? How could I have smiled where ‘hell’ may have once existed? I smiled because I am on the other side. I smiled because I have fought to be the person I am today. I smiled because of every bump in the road, every mountain I have climbed and every lake I have swam through brought me to today. I see a healthy new life, a healthy way to live and a light that shines from within all because of the mud and guck and crap I have crawled through.
I fully expected to go to this place to learn, to reconnect, to catch up and to giggle and laugh. The experience I had going back provided those things but so much more. I experienced closure, a healthy goodbye to experiences that have kept me locked up inside of myself. I am grateful for the goodbye to those memories and experiences. I am grateful that the trip’s expectations were met and that they led me to really see how my path has winded me here.
“If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?” ― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes
I often wonder, if we have the opportunity to look back and smile. I wonder if we can smile at the view in the rear view mirror? I work hard so the face I show to the world is always authentic and true. I want the same shine inward to flow outward.
What expectations do you have for your present when you are presented with a visit from the past? What opportunity is there for you to just sit with it and reflect?