I should be punished for being preachy, I am going to try my best to not allow the snakes in my head to crawl out on the page and bite you, but today, I can’t make any promises.
I was zipping through the bank drive thru (amazing they still exist in the south) and I peered over my dashboard for just a minute. The teller called me by name, smiled, asked me where my daughter was today and, as always, consistently gave me that warm and fuzzy that the little I had last week was going to be looked after.
When I peered over the dash and stared back at my community, I ached. The past several weeks have been stories of others dead asleep at the wheel; one too many Ambien while texting at 70 miles an hour. It feels extremely judgmental to sit in my car and gloat from this place of awake and I am well aware of the small handfuls of people around me who are alive and present in my life- I cling to them for life support sometimes. But somedays as a therapist, I just ache for those sleeping at the wheel.
Courage is not going to Australia, it is in the little small baby steps we take to make changes. Over time, we can slowly wake up from a sometimes dreadful slumber while someone else has been constructing our life. A friend said to me recently that it was so hard to realize he had been subcontracting out the architecture of his own life. I laughed at myself and told him that the day I woke up it was like I found myself in a crack house built by a shoddy architect and a tacky decorator.
I so get that I was there. Yes, Alicia WAS ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL. But the ache that I feel today is knowing the kind of happiness and joy that I experience in life has only come from honoring the pain and shame that is mine. If I have the capacity to wake up to this life and I have every excuse not to: I was sexually abused for five years of my life, I have been through three marriages as a kid, I had parents who kept me silent about my abuse, I have a father that still to this day I can only keep up with by checking the local county jail records because he cannot stay clean, and lets not get started on my siblings struggles….BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Then WHAT IS YOURS? This is hard. Life is SO Fucking HARD.
But pretending just doesn’t work.
Numbing out WILL NOT work.
Wearing that mask and painting pretty- I promise, in the end, Will Not work.
My BFF cried with me yesterday and reminded me that I cannot do this work to save the world. You know, I know that. But I cannot lie to myself and say that somedays, I just ACHE. I hurt seeing those thousand pound shields between you and me. I want to know You. I want to See You. I want sometimes to SHAKE YOU and BEG you to be brave.
Tell her you love her first.
Face that emotional demon.
Be the Architect of your own life. Who wants Martha Stewart decorating when perhaps your style has not a flower in sight?