"I can't go back to yesterday; I was a different person then."
- Alice in Wonderland
"Going somewhere?" my grandmother asked me.
"Yes," I replied clutching a sack lunch close to my six-year-old pounding heart. "I'm going back to Daddy's house!"
I had lived a short five years of early life in a fairy tale. However (sigh), just like all fairy tales, it came to an end. When I was young, it was like living in the clouds being the only child born to the prom queen and the football captain. Living in a sleepy little farming town in the deep south where love of family, farm life, food rituals and the Episcopal Church were deeply ingrained into our psyche.
One day, when I came home from visiting my grandmother, I found my mother crying. She was packing items in the house. This day had begun just like every other day, filled with sunshine, cousins, aunts and uncles, and the smells from a kitchen only the south can produce. I didn't understand what was happening, but I wanted to help. I walked across the uneven wood floor to my father's chest of drawers. With all my might, I opened the heavy bottom drawer and reached to begin packing his clothes.
"What are you doing?," mother asked.
"I'm packing Daddy's clothes too," I said.
My mother walked over to the chest to close the drawer, look straight through me and said, "He isn't coming with us."
Did the fairy tale just end? Did Alice just fall down the rabbit hole? As an empath, I felt the effects of intense emotions pour through my little five-year-old body. It was true, this part of my life was over. In the coming years, it would prove to be nothing more than a distant memory. The happy times didn't last, but the emotions and the effects of those emotions would last a lifetime.
Thank goodness God provided a soft landing, a safe place for us to go, a time to heal with my maternal grandparents. I believe many of my adult choices have been overshadowed by the longing to go back to the fairy tale. One that was not there anymore. One that can be written about but not lived again.
We can never go "back." We can't even go back to yesterday, so why spend a lifetime trying to reproduce what was and can never be again? I spent too much of my life doing that very thing. Spirit put this on my heart to offer you a different perspective.
Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind?
Go back home
Go back to a relationship
Go back to eating a certain way that doesn't work
Go back to a job
Go back to...........you fill in the blank.
With free will, we can go back, but life guarantees it won't be the same energy as when we left. People, circumstances and surroundings are always changing. Even today, as we face a global virus, structures and the way of being that we grew up in are changing.
We live in a global society. In my heart, I believe the coronavirus has impacted our planet in many ways. As this pandemic subsides, and it will, I believe our lives will be changed in ways we cannot imagine. The lazy summer days of safety and sameness are forever altered and changed. I believe we will emerge with grace and goodness finally tipping the scales in their favor.
We are being called to stand up and be counted in our humanity. To serve others and understand that no one is a "throw away" person. All are worthy of concern and care. This is not to say the darkness has disappeared. It is part of our experience on this planet. Simply know it's there and, on occasion, will rear its ugly head. Fear will feed the darkness and I for one, don't want to participate. We are children of the highest God and He will prevail.
You may wonder if I ever think of the fairy tale? Yes, I do. When I can't sleep, I go into my heart and visualize Grandmother Coleman's home, where I would take a nap on the floor, on one of her homemade quilts in front of a big grey box fan. The memory never fails to comfort as I drift into sleep in peace and safety with a smile on my lips.
What is a place of safety and solace in your mind? Please share where you go in your mind to relax.
I'd love to hear about it.