PoppiesThere comes a point where the stories are worn thin, then justifications are no longer talismans, and the words are ashes in your mouth. There comes a point where there is nothing left but you. What happened when you were a child happened.  Whether it’s been validated or not, it’s your truth now that no one can take away. Your teens were a struggle whether an extension of your childhood or a reaction against. And your 20s were a whirl of recreating the dynamics of your family, medicating the pain from open wounds, and trying to be completely different while working to get needs met that you don’t even have names for.

Then there are the 30’s when the issues stop being new and surprising. You’re seeing a pattern, things start repeating, there are a pile of issues, each one tagged with “because of childhood event #___” and you keep a wallet full of excuses for why you’re this way each starting with, “It’s their fault.”  In the 40’s the desperation begins to show because time is supposed to heal all wounds, but yours seem to be setting up permanently like concrete.  You think, “Things are supposed to get better when you’re older, but nothing is changing. Where is the luck that everyone else seems to get?  Where is the fun and the happiness and why can’t I ever catch a break?” All the while more problems layer on like a coral reef slowly building.

At some point along this path, you become the owner of your own life. Sometimes through a personal revelation, sometimes through hard and painstaking healing work, or even through the finding bottom moment when you just can’t take it any more. But that point comes. This is your life, no one else’s but yours. You choose where you expend your energy every day. You tie it to the past, you ignore the present, you choose to deny the future, you choose. In every moment you choose.  That doesn’t mean that by choosing differently you’ll get milk and honey or that unicorns will fart rainbows in your garden, but the chances will greatly improve.  End the cycle of self-abuse you inherited. Choose you.