I was never meant to have the perfect childhood, and I wasn’t meant to hide in my marriage. I was meant to write and tell the story of my family who hid their whole lives, and died with their secrets. I am here to take away their shame and show their light through my words and my eyes. Because through all that they suffered and endured in life they had hope and a belief that a better life was possible, and that is the energy that they passed along to me.
Where did my sadness and disappointment originate? I felt it as a child because my family wasn’t what I thought they should be. But, lately I have been thinking that maybe they were exactly how they were supposed to be. What if I stopped comparing my childhood to other people’s childhood and accepted it just how it was? The energy of my family didn’t start with them, it was generations in the making. What if my purpose is to transform that energy and not only heal myself, but also heal the hurt of my relatives? The conditions of my childhood made me who I am today, and gave me the unrelenting desire to write and share my story, and in sharing my story I am also sharing my family story.
In not accepting my responsibility of telling my family’s story, I entered a marriage in order to hide my past and try and take away my hurt, but it ended up only bringing my past to the forefront and adding to my hurt. But now I see that my marriage wasn’t the problem, it was me trying to change who I am. I didn’t want to be the hurt child that came from abuse, so in trying not to be that person I hurt myself more. It doesn’t matter who I married, it would have been the same result because I wanted my partner to see me for who I wasn’t. I wanted them to lift me out of my dark and toxic past, brush me off and cry my tears for me. When they didn’t, I could take my disappointment of my past out on them, and avoid the responsibility of my family legacy. Why didn’t they love me enough to change the energy of generations of my family? Now I know it was because that was never their job, it was mine.
When I first started yoga at the beginning of this year I poured my heart and soul into it, it was the most important thing to me. I knew that it was pulling me through to the next phase of my life. I knew that I had to sweat out the toxins of the past in order to move forward. Each class was a religious experience as trapped emotions flowed through me and were released. Sometimes I found myself crying on the mat at the end of class, and sometimes I felt euphoric and ready to take on the world. Yoga has given me so much, but it is not there for me to once again hide behind or take away my past hurt. It is meant to transform me and make me more present in my life outside yoga. It is there to help me ask the question; what if people didn’t disappoint me but instead added to my life and helped me grow?
Thanks to my yoga practice, I am more present in my life now. It has taught me not to prejudge situations, but instead to let them unfold. For so long I lived a life where I didn’t have to challenge myself too much to feel anything beyond disappointment and sadness. Feeling hope, connection, and happiness are new to me and a little scary. Before yoga, I was looking at the world through my old eyes of being ready to be disappointed. But lately I have entertained the thought of not being disappointed.
What if the future was more than I ever imagined possible? In order for that to unfold for me, I have to be open to it. I have to change my mindset to see what is actually happening instead of just waiting to be rejected or disappointed. As much as I hate to admit it, for me to think that the world is set up to hurt or disappoint me is egotistical. Because it means that everyone else is thinking about me, and they obviously are not. People are living their own lives, with their own problems to solve and grow from. They are not plotting out how to hurt me in their spare time.
That used to be too much for me to think about, because when I am open I can’t control what happens. Being disappointed is easy, being open to love is not. And I want to be open, I really do. I want to get out of my own head of thinking what others are thinking of me, and experience them. Not every gesture, word or expression of mine is going to change the course of a relationship, it is out of my control. I can only be myself, and be present to experience the other person and see what happens.
Yoga is like my writing, it is there to transform energy not to be the answer in itself. Yoga and my writing can’t be the focus of my life, but instead they are tools to help me focus. They are tools to help me to heal my past, and open me up to love in the present. As I write these words they are connecting my past to my present. They are weaving together generations of my family that wrote in journals and never published their words. I am giving a voice to all the disappointments of my family members that lived through 2 World Wars in England, that were too proud to let other people know they were struggling. They kept a stiff upper lip in public and cried in private. I was never meant to have the perfect childhood, and I wasn’t meant to hide in my marriage. I was meant to write and tell the story of my family who hid their whole lives, and died with their secrets. I am here to take away their shame and show their light through my words and my eyes. Because through all that they suffered and endured in life they had hope and a belief that a better life was possible, and that is the energy that they passed along to me.