This Big Kid
This is me.
42 years old.
I've lived a whole lot of life in those 42 years. I've traveled the world - some of it anyway - and I've seen and lived in some incredibly beautiful places. I've also visited some places that most wouldn't say are beautiful. Places that are troubled, dirty, dangerous, full of strife. That said, I honestly can't say I've ever seen a physical place in which I didn't in some way find beauty.
I've also extensively traveled my inner world, the world in which my thoughts, dreams, and feelings exist. In that world, I've traveled through love, awe-inspiring beauty, sparkling thrills, and moments of enlightenment. This world has also been home to immense pain, turmoil, self-criticism, fear, and a shame heavier than anything I've ever known.
In my present, like my view of the physical world and its varied states, I am able to find beauty in where my mind has been. In hindsight, that is. Truth be told a lot of it has immensely sucked in the exact moment that it occurred and I'm not pretending to be above that. What I'm saying is that you won't find me regretting it, nor the pain I felt in those times. Sometimes remembering a feeling hurts in a way that I don't always see coming. Sometimes even in a way that causes a subconscious, physiological reaction. Fight or flight. It comes up when you least expect it and you've got to learn to see it for what it is. The point is that when I look back and remember these feelings, it's like, "Ok, I felt that. I know what that feels like now. And I made it. It made me. I'm still here."
To get to my point (if you can call it a point) about being a big kid. What I've said above is not unlike how my 5 year old daughter experiences feelings. Kids are so quick to forgive, so quick to learn, and so quick to move forward.
As we grow from kids to adults, we learn things with every step we take.
We learn to survive and to be strong, and we learn how to function in a society. But this same society also teaches us things that maybe we shouldn't hold on to forever. Shame. Fear. Criticism. And for some reason, we learn to hold on to them.
These feelings are not without value, and do have useful places in our lives. When those seasons have passed, however, they key is to move forward and embrace the new places that you encounter. They key is to do this without holding your baggage from previous places out in front of your face, blocking your view of what is in front of you.
So, be a big kid! Put that baggage behind you - some kind of backpack or storage unit. Maybe even throw some of it in the trash. You may never forget it, and that's ok, but you do not need to carry it all. What you do keep, don't carry it in front of your face or you'll trip over it over and over again. Cry if you feel the need, release, and move forward. Walk free again. And don't forget to go through your storage unit and backpack once in a while to get rid of the rotten stuff.