The title of today’s offering is from a poem by Emily Dickinson. I have a framed watercolor flower with that line above it, which I keep next to my bed and read everyday. There is so much promise and hope in that one simple line.
For a sizable chunk of my childhood (often simultaneously) I was either sexually, emotionally or physically abused. I grew up thinking that nobody loved me. Surely, the adults around me who were either the perpetrators or turned a blind eye on my suffering couldn’t have loved me. God obviously didn’t love me or else He would have ‘saved’ me from that wretched existence. I felt deserted and unlovable.
I began to think that the poor treatment I was receiving was somehow my fault. That if I was a good girl, people would stop hurting me. I got good grades, I read a lot, I stayed out of trouble, I tried to fly under the radar so the boogie men wouldn’t see me. Nothing helped and no one helped. I felt so alone.
I carried that sense of blame and unworthiness well into adulthood, impacting my life negatively. I didn’t think I’d ever be worthy of any good thing because I’d grown up feeling so terrible about myself and my life. I felt angry and hopeless much of the time.
Even though I felt unworthy, good things still came into my life – my husband and daughter, jobs that I loved, creative outlets, great friends and a renewed sense of spirituality and purpose. After a lot of introspection, tears, angry outbursts, thousands of journal entries and prayers too numerous to count, I came to realize that my PAST does not define my NOW. No matter what happened to me as a child, I could still flourish as an adult. Not only flourish, but be successful.
“I am my possibilities, not my circumstances.” – Ejay Moore
I survived my childhood, despite its best efforts to break me. It’s easy to fall into the ‘victim’ way of thinking when things aren’t going my way, but then I remember that I survived. I survived for a reason. If nothing more than to tell this story and to say that no matter what your past is, your NOW is ripe with possibility. You dwell in possibility.