Monday, February 15, 2010


By the choices we make we create the life that we have.

Years ago a dear friend said this to me. We were discussing one of his girlfriends and she, in my opinion, had made a stupid decision not to marry him. Her life was in shambles and she just left. He said this about her. Carry forward and now this quote is still haunting me. I've never forgotten it.

When you really examine it you start to look at the choices you could have made and didn't. You also look at the choices you made to go forward but, in reality, they were choices to cover up the past. Is it a desire to move forward or a result of childhood baggage we still carry? Is it baggage that we don't even know we still carry?

Is the "me" that I see unworthy or unlovable? Where did this come from? Was the wound in childhood so severe that my choices based on this fear perpetuated it?  If it was a wound from childhood, why can't I remember it? Usually it's based on a trauma and the only one I can remember is the loss of my parents. Both sets. Somehow, there is a nagging feeling that  something is still in there that I can't quite put my finger on.

I think age matters.

As we get older I think it's only natural to look back. Hindsight and maturity bring a different perspective to life decisions. I think needs change also. What was important to me in my 20's and 30's is not where I am now. Basic needs never change but emotional needs do change.

What are my emotional needs? Even now, I'm not quite sure. Knowing requires getting through all the muck and walls I've created over the years to keep the imperfect and vulnerable from showing. I don't think many of us enjoy being open and vulnerable. To us "intimacy-phobes" it's the silver bullet. 

On the other hand, is there a possibility of too much truth about yourself? Why do I feel like I have to have all the answers? Maybe it is really a case of "if it's not broke, don't fix it." If we are living life without too many problems......who cares? Why do I have to be open and vulnerable? Do I really want to know?

Yes, I do.

Being vulnerable is a HUGE pile of leaves. If we would just rake them once in a while; all those emotional leaves would be nicely piled up, put in a garbage bag and thrown out. The problem is we let the leaves pile up and then when you try to have fun and jump in you find that they've been there so long the ones at the bottom are all yucky and icky. It's like trying to jump into a giant compost heap.

I'm wading into the pile of leaves that I raked.  It feels very icky at the bottom and I haven't even begun to get through it all. As I look around I take a big sigh. On top of all that I haven't even begun to start pulling the weeds.

1 comment:

  1. Leaves. I've found there are two approches to unloading those yucky, icky leaves: 1) Stick your [gloved] hands in there and dump them, one handful at a time, into the bag and lug that heavy SOB to the curb ... carefully ... so the bag doesn't break and scatter them all over your pristine lawn. Man, I hate when that happens. 2) Bag up the dry ones and leave the wet ones to the sun and air to dry up and then deal with them when they're not so icky. Of course, this requires some patience and leaves them exposed for the neighbors (and anyone else who drives by) to see what a loser you are.
    Frankly, I don't like the metaphor. I've been telling myself that it doesn't matter where the baggage comes from, as long as I recognize it and let it go so it doesn't determine my choices any more.
    (I'm kidding about not liking the metaphor. It's very good. But it's also ... challenging.)


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