To get the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain. Dolly Parton
I put up with a lot to stay in an abusive relationship. Lies. Deciet. Manipulation. Coercion. Violence. Anger. Fear. Terror. Loss...
I 'put up with a lot', did a lot I was ashamed of and... in the end, after letting the shame and guilt and sorrow and grief fall, I got a rainbow of gifts. Life. Freedom. Knowledge. Understanding. Healing. Joy. Peace. Love...
Over at Two Shoes in Texas, Josie posted a "Letter to a younger me" she wrote as an adult to her eighteen year old self.
The power of hindsight -- In her letter, Josie uses the knowledge she's gained through the journey of her lifetime to talk to her younger self about the things she didn't hear, or see or was simply missing when she was taking those first tender steps into adulthood. Back then, at 18 when she took steps that took her into the storms and darkness of life on the road away from the light, she couldn't see this was the path through the rain. The path to the rainbows. All she could see was the getting away from where she was, getting the things she wanted in life... no matter the cost.
It is a beautiful letter, Josie's letter to herself. It made me cry. For her pain and sorrow and loss. It made my heart sing. With forgiveness, love, joy.
It is a great way to express gratitude for the love and joy and peace and harmony and all the other wonder's that await, no matter where we are on the road or in the valley of darkness. Those beautiful moments that lay spread out in the sunshine, glistening with light sparkling through raindrops, rainbows dancing in the air.
We do not know what we do not know.
When I was eighteen, struggling to find myself, struggling to understand why I felt the way I felt, why I did the things I did that hurt me, I couldn't see through the rain of the tears pouring in my heart.
I hurt. I just didn't know why I hurt.
I wanted to be free. I wanted to love -- myself -- Fearlessly. Unconditionally. Completely.
I was afraid -- of loving myself -- Fearlessly. Unconditionally. Completely.
It took a lot of years. A lot of footsteps, some very painful, some dances of joy, some just one step after the other, to get to where I want to be. It took a lot of shedding, of fears and trepidations, mis-matched messages, wrong ideas and harmful notions about who I am and what I deserve to get through the darkness.
It took a lot of time.
It doesn't matter now how long it took. What matters is, I'm here. Right now. Right where I want to be. Here. In this moment. In this time and place. Exactly here. Being me. Being all of me. Being all I am when I let go of the fear of being all I am.
I cannot change the past.
I can let the past illuminate where I'm at with its stories of dangers conquered, treasure found, gifts of wonder unwrapped. I can let the past cast a brilliant light on today shining through beauty and truth and forgiveness and gratitude and Love.
I can let the darkness recede and carry only the light into today. and in that light, I can illuminate my path into tomorrow.
There are a lot of things I could say to my eighteen year old self. Lots of wisdom I could impart. Stories and warnings and cautions about treading lightly, carefully. About walking with eyes and heart and arms wide-open.
Lots I could say.
I search for the words. Those sparse and clean and simple words that will put the ghosts of the past to rest, that will let me step in peace each moment today.
Today, I choose to let go of searching for the answer and step lightly into the truth of all I've learned and experienced and grown and expanded through on this journey. Today, when I look into the mirror of the past and see my light shining through the darkness, I choose to say,
I Love you. Always have. Always will.
Thanks Josie for the inspiration this morning. For the wonder of you and the light on my journey.