Happy Saturday, Oh Sol!
It’s a sunny summer Saturday – or, just about summer. For some reason, this spot where I write sometimes gets me reminiscing about my childhood – the view of the yards, edged by trees; and, especially, the sound of a lawn mower on a Saturday.
Suddenly, I’m drawn back, to hearing the happy shrieks as we played tag with the other neighborhood kids; remembering the marathon baseball, then softball games, when the older kids got bigger, and could hit baseballs too far and too hard. Hide-n-seek into the darkness of steamy summer nights, as the lightning bugs emerged, blinking beacons of wonder.
I have happy memories of my childhood and neighborhood, and growing up in my family’s little home. And, especially – happy memories of my family. It’s a delight to get pulled back into those happy times.
I felt safe, and I was allowed and encouraged to play and have fun. I was also given responsibilities, and there were rules; and consequences, when the rules weren’t followed or the responsibilities not tended. And, as the youngest of four, I also learned by observing my brothers and sister.
All this is a bit of a revelation for me, as I’ve spent a lot of time doing introspective work, wanting to release my fears and anxieties around judgment and approval, wanting to open my heart and spirit to the adventure of living, and wanting to embrace the Unknown. I’ve traced those fears and anxieties back to my childhood; or, at least, I believe that’s where those seeds were planted and took root.
I also realize that that’s just the story I’ve come up with that, at the moment, feels true and, more importantly, has given me a place from which to start working toward creating the change that I desire; that frees me and opens my heart and soul.
At this point, it is much less important how the fear and anxiety started, and from where it came, and so much more important that I can see the choice that I’m offered, between love and fear. I can focus on my deep practice of risking vulnerability by choosing Love. And, seeing how rewarding that is.
And so, it’s refreshing to be pulled back into these joyful memories of my childhood – less clinical and diagnostic, and more delight! Grilling hot dogs and hamburgers; a catch with my dad, while waiting for the charcoal to gray; the family around the picnic table with the plastic red-and-white tablecloth.
Another side of this is simply about memory. It’s a curious thing, what we remember, and even how we remember it. Within my family, we talk about certain things – like a certain food my mom would occasionally serve for dinner – and she swears that she never made it.
What do we do with that? We are certain; yet, so is she – two completely opposite truths. And, that’s something pretty benign. What about when it’s something more substantial, even life-changing?
The way I’ve started to look at it, even our past is just a version of a story we tell ourselves. We can always look for another version that feels more true, is less painful, and serves us better.
If you’re perseverating on some injustice or challenging relationship, for example, then why not move toward doing the self-work and self-care you need to feel whole and happy, and change the story to one about your transformation!
My dad, in the end, lost his memories. I learned that there is life without memories. It can certainly bring the Now into focus. But, our memories are also treasures, and they are worth visiting and appreciating every once in a while.
Here’s a Prompt you can try:
Make a list of 10 Powerful, Happy Memories.
Spend a minute soaking in each memory through your five senses. What do you hear, smell, taste, feel, and see?
Now, look for some common threads: Are you alone, or in a crowd? Are you with the same person, or people? Are you inside, or outside? Do your memories involve food, or music, or daredevil thrills?
Play with the threads that you notice – there can be “hot tracks” for you, and a source of Turtle Steps.
Thanks for opening the vault, My Spirit Guides!