Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Wall

Many years ago there was a television program where a woman told a boy, who had an unhappy situation, that sooner or later everyone comes to a wall. Some find a ladder waiting or an open door or a rope to help them over or past the wall. Others have to find a way over and it’s hard. She told the boy that it wasn’t fair but that didn’t change the reality—everyone had to get over the wall.

At the time, I thought the advice was harsh but it stuck with me because even then on some level I understood how powerful it was. And when I was seeing a counselor to come to terms with my childhood, I kept remembering those words. I realized I had a choice. It would have been easy to focus on how unfair it was that my childhood had been the way it was. No one would have blamed me. If anything, there were times my counselor wondered out loud why I didn’t get more upset about it. But the thing was, I only had so much energy. I could either focus on how awful things had been or I could focus that energy on rewriting the messages I’d taken in as a kid. Because that’s what healing is—rewriting the messages we took in about ourselves, about the world, and about other people. I didn’t have time or energy to do both and remembering that scene from television, I knew that I was darned well going to get over the blasted wall!!!

And I did. Get over the wall, I mean. I rewrote the messages. I took stock of my life and began to make changes. I challenged every assumption I’d ever had about who I was and who I had to be. I went from being terribly unhappy to someone who today is strong and confident and happy.

I share with you the words the woman said in that television scene because I truly believe they are powerful. We can not change the past. We cannot always prevent bad things from happening in the future. But we can choose whether we will stand staring at the wall and screaming at how unfair life is for us or we can put every ounce of energy into getting over that wall. And when we do, no matter what the past has been, life can be pretty wonderful.

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),


Holly Desimone said...

Hi april_optimist,
That is true we can not change the past! Great message of hope to survivors! Thank you for the gentle hug. Take care

Sharona N said...

What can I say but... can I get an amen?


pat said...

Wow...that visual of the wall really frames things up perfectly for me. I can see how it can initially sound harsh, but I think it is a wonderfully powerful message.

I am glad I found your site.