Our past holds power over us. The subconscious remembers what consciousness has buried or forgotten, and those triggers remain with us. Most of the time, our past lingers in the shadows, just noticed on the periphery but quickly ignored. It’s the monster we don’t want to see.
There are moments though, when it strikes us with clarity. I had one such moment this weekend. I began playing and singing for my mom and sister. It was a chance to share a little of the joy that’s filled the past couple weeks, and the songs that continue to take shape. My hands shook a little. It took a couple starts to get rolling and settle in, and then I began singing. Two lines in I hear my dad on his way out, “You’re running your words together.” My gut clenched. The monster leaned out of the shadows and I froze. I watched everything from the outside as one instant stretched into timelessness. I felt the pain of never being good enough. Just beyond it I felt a spark of anger and a healthier me cried out it isn’t true! I took a deep breath, and as time returned to normal I kept playing and singing.
That moment remains crystallized in my memory today. I know I won a significant battle in that moment. I won a battle for my future. It’s one more step in a process that began a little over two years ago. A process of self discovery, awareness and growth. I am thrilled and excited to see where it goes from here.
I don’t know where you’re past is looming in the shadows, but I hope my own story can be an encouragement to anyone reading this with me. It’s worth the time and effort to lean in, to fight for yourself, and to grow. One day you’ll find your monster, and you’ll be ready. On that day you’ll battle, and victorious, you’ll step into a new future.
On a side note, riding high on what felt like a pivotal battle for my being, I took myself shopping. Four hours, two guitar shops and five sore fingers later I bought a new guitar. It’s an investment in my future.