The child who flew away
You were born. You had no control over the circumstances of your birth, where you lived, who your parents were, whether or not you had siblings and if so how many. You had no control over the food you ate or the clothes you wore. You had little control over whether you were teased, the quality of the education you received or the depth of any cultural diversity to which you were exposed. In fact, childhood offers very little in the way of personal power and decision-making. From the other side, as a parent, I can see how having complete control over another human’s life is the basis of much of the self-doubt and stress that accompanies parenthood. But I digress.
You are a child who grew up. At some point, you decided to leave the things of the past. Perhaps it was a physical leaving, a moving away. Maybe the leaving was more abstract or symbolic. Regardless of when or how you decided to leave, that decision marked the beginning of your life for which you were fully self-determining. The first domino was nudged as your decision to leave gave rise to other independent decisions. Your self-actualized life. This is true even if you decided to pass your choices to someone else, for this, too, toppled dominos.
The decision to leave is the time stamp of adulthood. Before that, caretakers steered the boat and did not always take us to desirable locations or show us lovely vistas. Yet, we carry the disappointments of childhood like a yoke, dragging memories behind us. Nevermind that the circumstances of childhood are not the responsibility of children. Nevermind that we cannot control the actions of other people, only ourselves. Nevermind that we understand that the past is untouchable, unalterable. Don’t blame the deckhand for a sunken ship, look to the captain or the sea monster lurking below.
Take off the yoke of childhood circumstances. It’s not yours and never was.
Try not to revisit unpleasant scenes of childhood. You didn’t create them, you had no control over them. Own the years AFTER you left home, the years you set your life in motion on your own terms.
This time is yours. You fly on our own wing, high above the seas. When you look back, do so through the lens of visiting a different era, a different life, knowing we all do the best we can with the mode of locomotion available to us at the time.