”What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
I have attempted to write this post since December—I say “attempted” because the experience was emotional, and expressing emotions with words isn’t easy. In my attempt to do just that, I will explore a triggering experience I had just before Christmas last year.
When I was in my mid 30s, I was seeing a therapist who told me something I will never forget. He said that people who have had challenging lives are the lucky ones, as opposed to people who appear to live lives scot-free of problems. I have to admit I looked at him a bit cockeyed.
I was coming to grips with newly discovered childhood memories that bubbled up from writing. What he meant by what he said, I realized many years later, is that personal challenges cause tremendous growth: learning lessons. As souls who have decided to come down to Earth School, experiencing uncomfortable places may be important, but our reactions, and the choices made because of those experiences, may be even more so because you can get glued in a state of numbing. And that is not where joy lives, which is our divine right as human beings.
Looking back, I could see the hurtful choices I made, but I hurt only myself. With adult understanding and compassion, I was able to change the labels I engraved in my being because I believed others thought of me this way. I no longer was messed up, a wild child, or damaged, but wise, strong, and resilient, and nothing was wrong with me. My emotions that gave rise to behavior had an intelligence and were part of a process so beautifully designed that it would take years of maturity to fully understand.
I can’t say I would have agreed with the positive concept of my life my therapist dangled before me since I was the daughter of an alcoholic mother, sexually abused early on, and violated again at 19. I probably would have rolled my eyes and said, “Whatever, old man. You don’t know what you are talking about.” Learning lessons, healing old and fresh wounds, are no walk in in the park, no matter what decade you are in. I wasn’t ready to uncover those rocks until I was in a safe place many moons later.
Life piles on, of course, and so, ironically, after I believed self-mastery of my past had occurred, I soon I found myself on a new journey, whether I liked it or not. By the time December rolled around last year, I was cultivating seeds in my mind that appeared to be ideas for a new business in Florida, where I was integrating myself as a new transplant. I was feeling good in my life, taking care of myself whilst building a healthy pattern of delving into fear, even though it was scary. This meant writing down the ideas, drawing sketches, researching, calling suppliers, and such to bring my vision to life in hopes for sustenance one day. Against all odds, I was beginning to think I could do something important with my life that could generate an income.
Could I trust it?
Within a span of a few days, just as a new moon was forming, which just so happens to mean prolonged darkness, and a good time to look within, I read an article about a dread-headed man with eyes ringed in kohl liner. Brian ‘Head’ Welch is the guitarist from the popular ’90s metal band Korn’, and a documentary was made about his life called, Loud Crazy Love. This film focuses on his life struggles with family, wealth, which was complicated by his addictions, and having a stable relationship with his daughter, whom he adored.
I had a chance to view this movie snippet. It was wild and scary to witness so many emotions captured on film, and the ones it resurrected in me. How do I count the ways this woke up feelings I thought I had neatly filed away? Rage, shame, remorse, desperation. The list goes on and on, I suppose. Was it for or from him or coming from me?
His now–20-year–old daughter at least had a chance to express her anguish of those years by revealing her truth in the film, which I hope will heal the pain that she admitted had manifested earlier in cutting herself. In my eyes, this was no different than an eating disorder or pulling out your hair. My parents were either too old to confront or had passed on.
Reaching bottom for him meant losing all those things that were supposed to bring happiness, but it also caused him to reconnect back to God and become sober so he could heal. In his own words, he states:
“… I feel like I was too sensitive to things. And they would get to me. And I would let them just tear me down. And no matter how successful I got later on, I just felt like, if people really got to know me, got close to me, they wouldn’t like me. That’s the lie I believed about myself. And so I would just mask it with drugs and alcohol for years and years… It wasn’t until I found my faith that I learned to love myself.”
By this point, I had lost it. Emotionally, that is. I could not stop sobbing. On the surface, who would have thought I would have anything to relate to in the life of a famous musician, and one I had judged looked a certain way? The costumes we wear in life are what make us unique. Right? But I realized that it is our stories of pain and suffering and redemption that connect us and travel through to us in a mysterious way, hitting us in the perfect “X marks the spot” kind of way. Watching the documentary snippet, reading the words of the article about him, helped me to FEEL TO HEAL a little more. Sorry—I couldn’t resist. Wink.
Reading his story, a grain of sand in the collective, validated my experience. I didn’t feel so weird or solo on my journey. Maybe my spiritual experiences aren’t so odd after all.
This isn’t the end of my experience. So I will continue with this on a different day. But I shall leave you with this inner child quote. Origin unknown:
Your inner child is in control of your life until you re-parent it, and your inner child heals. Only then you will be an adult and take charge of your life.
I would love to hear your thoughts and your experiences.