I want to set my soul free.
I was praying to God before bed and I blurted it out. I’m done. I want to set my soul free. I want to embrace the blessings and happiness in my life.
A memory popped into my head, it was Christmas morning many years ago, I was roughly 8 or 9 years old. I saw myself skating up and down the block with my brand new skates. I was laughing, full of life, living the moment, and free. Those moments were beautiful in ways that cannot be recreated. I was blinded from the realities of my pain and circumstances; “broken home.” I skated, I smiled, I laughed, despite everything that was going on around me. I would dust myself off and move forward when I stumbled. I would find my way back to happiness.
Yet as an adult, full of so much more “wisdom,” finding my way back to happiness is challenging. I don’t laugh that way anymore, yet it is what I want most in this world. Why can’t I recreate it? The world nor anyone else to blame.
The barrier I have built due to fear and pain is what has kept me away from it.
I need to let go of all that’s holding me back and live like a child, live free. Not be afraid of pain, suffering, death, or of what’s to come. I need to stop worrying about the mistakes I’ve made along the way and stop wishing I would’ve done certain things better.
I need to set my soul free. I want happiness.
Tonight I’m trying to see life through the eyes of my 6-year-old daughter. I’m trying to remember everything I wish I would’ve received emotionally that has placed an unquenchable thirst for love and affection in my heart. I need to use the past to lift me up, learn from past mistakes – fertilize my soul if you will- and not allow it to anchor me down by haunting me with its pain. I do not want to drag my daughter into this game of living in fear with me.
My daughter looks at me with the same look I once gave my mother. It was a look of admiration, but also a look that cried out “see me.” It was a look that begged me to be enough for her attention. It was a look that desired to make my mother happy in ways that I did not have the power to fulfill. I wanted to make my mothers suffering go away so that we could live happily; I wanted her to join in the fun and live the way my 8-year-old self-did. I saw commercials where a mother and daughter engaged in silly dancing, giggling along the way, unfortunately, I never saw my mother giggle that way. As a child, I thought I was the problem. I was the one that didn’t bring the laughter or fun into the picture. I wasn’t fun to be around. I wasn’t enough to party with. I thought my mom’s pregnancy is what lead my father to be promiscuous. I carried that with me for many years, always trying to be enough. Wishing I was the reason someone smiled.
I think children are amazing. They are God’s greatest gifts on earth. They will take the time stop and smell the roses. They will pick flowers from the garden. They will do the smallest things to try and brighten our days. We usually rush them because we are busy with the hustle and bustle, but our ignorance makes us overlook that they are giving us the medicine our soul needs. As a child, I would’ve given anything to make my mother whole. To mend the aching in the heart caused by my father’s infidelity, their divorce, and his absence from my upbringing. My mother grew hard as she held multiple jobs to provide for us. I don’t blame her for any of this, none of us know what we are doing. We have our own way of coping, of grieving, and of healing. She excelled as a provider, I never went without. In order to become that head of household, a part of her had to dry up to give her the strength to face the day without the emotions, which is what I was craving for.
I see a trend with my daughter. She mirrors me. She mirrors my phrases, my tones, my fears. Her soul is very similar to mine. We seem tough on the exterior, very calm cool and collected, but we are extremely emotional and fragile. We hurt more from words than we do with anything else. I see my daughter looking at me for attention. I see her looking up at me, and I want her to feel certainty in her heart in believing she is the reason I am smiling. I don’t want her to carry a feeling of inadequacy or incompleteness her whole life. I want her to know that she’s an amazing girl.
Tonight, I’m hugging her a little tighter. In honor of my heart’s secret wishes, tomorrow I will start our morning with a silly dance as we get ready for school. It may not have come true with my mother, but it’s never too late to make a dream a reality. I can continue lamenting it never happened, which won’t change a thing, or I can get up and dance the way I wish we would’ve.
I’m not going to let pain, fear, or the world take from the love I want to give to my daughter. I don’t want the struggles of life to take another moment from me. I don’t want to be consumed thinking about things that are out of my control. I want to live with the freedom my 8-year-old self-lived with. I know although difficult, this is possible. It’s going to require a lot of discipline on my behalf as I adjust the lens I use to view life. There’s much to let go of. There are lots of wounds that need healing.
There’s so much love waiting at the end of this road.