I have been thinking a lot lately about trusting life.
I have come to realize that I have been living, but not trusting, life.
What does that mean?
It means that when I was six, things occurred that were so traumatic that decisions were made on an unconscious level that 1) the world was not a safe place, 2) I could trust no one and nothing, and 3) life was not meant for me.
Fast forward through decades of living from the decisions of a wounded child who felt that what had happened was on some level her fault and who also thought that she carried responsibility for the whole world as she knew it.
What does that look like?
It is exhausting to live but not trust life. I am exhausted. I have been dragging my soul through all of these years, cheerleading myself every day to show up despite feeling on deep unconscious levels that life was not meant for me.
It has been a strange dichotomy: wanting to live so badly, to work so hard to have a happy and meaningful life, yet to have an equal and opposite drive in my telling me that life is just not for me. That I was not meant to be happy. To live “in spite of” not feeling as if I deserved a good life or even was a worthy or necessary part of the world.
I have loved life. Needed life. Wanted life. Fought life. Almost killed my own life. But I have not trusted life.
And not trusting life, it has been hard to trust myself. I mean, if you do not trust the very force that sustains you, what can you really trust anyway?
I did, indeed, survive. Miraculous, indeed, because when you live from unconscious wound-influenced decisions from a child’s psyche, you tend to make some very, very poor and unhealthy choices.
I look back at all of the choices I made from those 6 year old’s decisions today, and I am truly in awe. I used to be embarrassed, ashamed even, at how poorly I have managed for some times in my life. But today, I am astounded at my resilience and my ability to bring myself through it all. I survived, and I live to write this.
But I have not yet truly thrived.
I have healed so much. But here I am, having cleared away so much wounding, seeing these decisions that were made about life and my place in it, and I am exhausted.
And it is time. Time to finally trust life.
I have blamed Life for what happened to me when I was six. Life and God. But mainly Life. And I understand why. The pain and shock of what happened was just overwhelming to me at 6. I just could not trust after that.
One of my favorite lines from a play is from Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz. “Most people don’t have to make a step-by-step decision to stay alive, most people just basically want to live. I am not one of those people.”
I have always deeply identified with that. It has taken me work each day to push through the energies around those early decisions to find the strength, courage and hope to face another day.
But I want to address that. Really see if I can forgive Life — it was not Life that did anything to me. Life is not to blame.
Life has held me through. Life has loved me no matter what. Life has always just been there, offering me breath, love and trees.
I don’t know how I will heal this or how long it will take but I am ready and willing to try.
I can start by making a list of what I think that might look like. If I were someone who trusted life, how would I act? How would I talk? How would I make decisions? How would I love?
Will my smile be different? My laugh? Maybe my very breathing will change.
I am eager to live in these questions, this exploration.
To take my six year old lovingly and gently by the hand and take over the reigns. Give her a soft place in my heart to go play in and reassure her that I got this now. Yes, my child, it is time.
Here we go.