I’ve been doing a thought experiment. It’s a bit Buddhist-y in nature, but it feels different in my head.
Basically, it comes down to this: Would it be possible to have all the knowledge I currently have, but when it comes to my reactions, that I can somehow turn it all off and be a tabula rasa? In other words, can I go through life not letting the shit from my past and the stories about my past affect my present in quite such a negative way? Can I be a born-again human?
Can I see the stories as a book of fairytales: stories to learn morals and lessons from, but not take on as my own?
Can I make pretend I’m a (very wise) child, where everything is novel instead of things I’ve done a million times before? Can I come into every situation focused not on the past or the future, but the moment entirely in all it has to give or take from me?
Can I be confronted with a situation so similar to the past, where I’ve reacted in X way to cope with Y outcome, and instead see that the situation is different in Z ways and thus requires an entirely different approach?
Can I tell the little girl inside of me – who is fearful of abandonment, of lack of self competency, of instability, of change – that everything will be just fine and we can write this story together this time?
I sit here crying, wanting this really badly, wanting to see that the stories in my head (whether true or not) don’t apply to today, here and now, and the people in my life right now. Moreover, they don’t apply to *me* anymore.
Today, I am not a victim. I am not being abused. I am not being manipulated. I am loved. I am witnessed. I am heard. I am imperfect and so is everyone around me.
And yet, I want to believe there is something solid in me and in everyone. Something clean, pure, not marred by the life we’ve watched unfold before our eyes. Something that can weather all the storms. Something that knows deep down that we are worth being here to witness the unfolding and that we are meant to witness it with others on their own journeys, next to us.
Thank you, dear reader, for witnessing alongside me as I struggle to find my bearings amongst the stories of my brain.