You have been through a lot. So much that you can hardly recall. Much is stored up in memory boxes of the heart. You have childhood memories. Holding your dad’s hand as you walk across the street. Toy boxes. Your little brother’s squishy hands and toes. Your mom’s annual April Fool’s jokes. Being queen for a day at grandmas. You might remember road trips, camping trips or trips to time out. For the most part, this memory box feels like warm sun on your face; it feels like licking an ice cream cone or sucking on a lollipop. Whether sweet fantasy or true bliss, the good stuff drips down your chin, and since this is your childhood, you don’t mind at all.
The happenings of childhood are marked by innocence, naivety and blind love. Children don’t pick birth places, living spaces or whether they get a silver spoon. Children arrive into the environment prepared for them by imperfect human beings. Your birthday suit probably did not include a tag stamped with equality, justice or life without bumps. You got a partial clean slate, promises for good and a large serving of hope for who you just might be.
As time ticks forward, childhood innocence, naivety and blind love metamorphose. As time ticks forward, who you are fills the space between your growing bones. Independence and personal choice roll in. As you discover the facts of your life, you can choose what may have been or you can choose to be who you were made to be. In other words, you can choose to bloom or stay a sprout.
As you realize personal choice, you both stumble and discover over time spent becoming who you are. If you check your memory boxes, there are whole periods of your life marked by an initial decision. Whole periods of your life marked by an initial decision. It is hard to imagine that there was an initial decision that defined a period of your life. But that is how it happens.
Even if in the most subtle way, decisions are hued in darkness or light. If you couldn’t see it then, you can see it now. Looking behind you. You may have thought there was one door of choice, but there was not. There were at least two. Perhaps the door you opened looked like the only one. Perhaps that door was not wholly inviting, but it did appear to be the sole knob. Looking back with later-found wisdom and clarity, you now see that it was not.
We all have our was nots. Sometimes personal choice causes you horrible pain in remembrance. Sometimes was nots make you feel quite stupid. Sometimes it is unintentional mistakes that stab us in the chest for years to come. Sometimes, should have, was not and wish for different compete to define whole periods of your life. But no, that is not who you are.
You can walk good miles in shoes worn down by a few was nots. In fact, you have walked many good miles in your shoes. Perhaps some miles were not initially tagged as good, but eventually . . . your discoveries along life’s time line have healed you. The memory box that used to haunt you is now covered by wisdom and truth. It may be that it takes some time to get to these memory boxes; they are farther down your life’s time line. But these boxes better represent the substance of you. You chose to be who you are and the beauty of the box is remarkable.
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