As with everyone, my life, who I am, changes with every experience and every passing day. I am a vastly different person than I was a year ago and certainly from ten years ago or even longer. While the change has been gradual, it's been so substantial that I don't personally resemble that girl anymore. Maybe we kind of look the same in some respects, but nothing about who I am now can be found in the memories of "that" girl.
Oh my gosh, I was so selfish. Oh my gosh. The ways that I was selfish are too many to describe. At the time, I'm sure I thought I was more self-'less', but then I think about it and wonder how I could have thought that by looking at my behavior. The best analogy is that of a wildfire. Looking at my past, the only image that comes to mind is this blaze of fire that could be useful or even welcome, but destructive to everything around it because of the lack of boundaries. This went on far longer that I want to admit, even worse, as time passed I became more and more destructive. That is, until God picked me up, physically moved me away from some of the mess that I had made and figuratively "said", let's give this another go. I recognized this second chance (or ten millionth chance if the truth be known).
Since then, I've dedicated myself to becoming a different person. It's a really slow process though, you know? It's hard to come to the realization that you're essentially a pretty bad person and that you've done pretty much nothing with your life of any substance. It's even harder to want to change. It's even harder to actually change. It takes so much time and setbacks are very deflating. I always wince when I hear the Parable of the Talents for this reason. Seriously, inside in the pit of my stomach, I wince because I know which person I am. No doubt about it. No sugar-coating.
So here I am all of these years later, feeling like I'm getting some of this figured out in the sense that I'm at least starting to move in the correct direction. I'm moving forward and moving forward until...one day...wham...I feel like I've run into the brick wall of my past and it makes me shrink inside of myself with shame. What in the world? Why do memories have this ability? I mean, I didn't even do anything to bring up the memory. Something just triggered something and blam.
I realize here that I must have made myself sound horrible...honestly, the truth is ugly and I am not here to say otherwise.
So, I realize that this shame isn't healthy and I realize that I have learn to embrace this past person as part of who this present person is, right? But, the problem is that I want to pretend this past person didn't exist. Which has presented a whole other set of problems for me and it's just really complicated because I only want the bad stuff to not have existed. The good stuff can stay. Of course, that's not the way it works. The truth is that this person did exist and without all of those things then I wouldn't be here now. While in theory I understand this concept, applying it is proving to be difficult. That shame is really building a wall between moving forward and being stuck in the past. I feel like that I cannot possibly be who I want to be by hiding who I was because that is obviously part of who I am now (mind boggling I know...this is elementary stuff here and I am writhing in my discomfort for being so simple minded).
If you read my blog, then you know that I'm not an answer giver because I don't have them. This is just where I am right now....stuck trying to take down this latest set of bricks because I haven't been able to figure out that my past is very much a part of my present. So frustrating. So so frustrating.