It was a relaxed day yesterday. We went to the market, took Ellie and her friend Mollie for a walk. Came home and sat and read, drank wine, chatted, laughed had a terrific dinner with my youngest daughter L. regaling us with stories of sisterly exploits she and A. have shared as Bet and I shared stories of our lives together and apart. It's been a wonderful time with a friend whose multi-hued threads are woven forever into the tapestry of my life and who, in the weaving of her story into mine, has created more memories to share in years to come.
At one point, while we were walking and talking about a summer in Germany where we taught swimming together when we were 15, Bets mentioned that my memory seems so much better than hers. "You have a good memory," she said. "I don't remember the events like you do."
I had been thinking the same thing about her. "You have a good memory. I don't remember the things you do."
Memory is all in our perspective. Events and people that had significance for her are easily recalled. They're not the same events and people that held meaning for me. Together we fit the pieces of the past into a jigsaw puzzle that still holds missing pieces. Perhaps if we could find Georgette or Monty or Doug or Debbie we'd have a more complete picture of that time. Ultimately, the missing pieces are unimportant. Other than the value they hold for the one remembering, they do not impact this time together where we can be two friends whose lives touched long ago and whose paths have reconnected today.
This May 21st will be 4 years since the morning I woke up and was released from an abusive relationship by the police walking in and arresting the man to whom I was held captive with invisible bonds of fear and dread and self-loathing. Since that morning I have slowly and lovingly released the dark and painful ties that bound me to him and replaced them with the exquisite joy of my life today. When I look at that time when I was lost to myself and to those I love I see rainbow coloured ribbons gaily fluttering in the wind. I do not hold the events and happenings that led me to fall into his unloving embrace in place as much as I let them flow in and out of the riotous colour of my life today. I let the memories flow so that they do not hold me in place with fear of the past. I drown them in the beauty of my life today and set myself free.
The only power memory has is the meaning I bestow upon it. The events that led to May 21st, 2003 when I awoke to the devestation of my life and had to face the truth of what I had done to hurt those I love, are only memories. They cannot hurt me unless I choose to let them.
In healing, it is my responsibility to extract the learning from them and to leave their husks to be washed away by the sands of time. It is my responsibility to rebuild my life, reclaim my self and find the path to healing so that my daughters, my family and friends can also find forgiveness. In that process I accept I cannot change what happened or what I had done. I can only accept it as it was, and commit to being the best me that I can be without the fear of the past becoming my future.
When I was 12 and giggling with Bets about boys and dreaming about the men we'd one day marry, I could not envision the events of my life ahead. At 12 I could not imagine that one morning I would awaken to two blue and white police cars driving up and releasing me from the bonds of terror that kept me from stepping free of C.
I had no idea what life would become when I was 12.
But, I did know I wanted to understand me, to love me exactly the way I was and to be the best me I could be. It was then and continues to be the essential element of my journey today.
Throughout my life, understanding me has motivated me to fall into unloving arms. It has propelled me into unhealthy situations and it has driven me out of fear into the courage to be inlove with myself, exactly the way I am.
I cannot change the past. Like meeting up with Bets after all these years, the memories of what brought me here today form the warp and weave of my vibrant and joyous tapestry of life today. I can't alter them. I can only accept them and let them flow freely so that I can walk with grace and dignity through each moment of my day.
Some of those memories may be faulty. Some may be backwards or inside out or even upside down. They are only memories. Whims of fancy of a past I do not need to hold onto as long as I live each moment filled with love and joy and a healthy curiousity of what each moment means to me.
Meeting up with a friend, taking a trip, saying good-bye to a lover, walking into a new relationship are simply events that become stepping stones in my quest to be the most awesome me I can be. In that process I share the best of me and let the rest become memories of who I was when I couldn't see the essential light of me.
We all have memories we cling to that explain why we are the way we are today. It isn't the memories that make the difference, it's what we do when we are free of them that states unequivocally, we are miracles of life, wondrous beings on the journey of our lifetime, children of God, of Yaweh, of Mohammed, of a Divine Force, a Higher Power, miraculous beings of light.
May your day be filled with the knowing that whatever happened in the past is nothing compared to the magic that awaits you today when you step freely into being all that you are meant to be.