This is who I am: a patchwork of life experiences infused with kind heart wisdom
I grew up in the country side, my grandma was my hero, my father my superhero and my mother my teacher.
I always looked up at my sister who was the star of the family, she could do everything in a perfect manner and, as the years passed by, I entered a secret competition for gaining the love of my parents.
I don’t remember if my parents told me to behave like my sister or if I just figured it out. Eventually I saw her as the good badass, best in class, best at home chores, docile and making friends easily and I became the skilfull family badass, hiding in my father’s library to read when my mum wanted me to do chores, running away when my mother wanted to punish me, playing with my teddy bear instead to cleaning the house, loving reading and hating maths.
My deepest desire was to become an archeologist, to dig deep in the earth and discover unknown treasures, to become an explorer and to travel the world. This dream did not end up in the bin but graciously place itself in a corner of my mind and silently waited for the right time to pop up.
Unknowingly I started gathering heavy lands of unwanted feelings, compressed them and let them down my throat to fill the needs of a big and scary heart.
Every time I experienced suffering I put on more armor around my heart to feel safe, I used every opportunity to prove myself that the world was mean and at the same time I found a few sincere friends in my sister class with whom I could be me. Throughout high school and university I built enormous walls around me, occasionally dropping them when meeting my grandma and my dogs, convincing myself that I was never good enough to get what my heart wanted.
Then came the time when I met my future husband, who looked at me and saw the real me. The love and understanding of my husband broke through the armor of my heart but it did not dissolve it. That was my work to do. My husband heart told my heart to trust life and invite it to stay open.
The example of my husband’s persistence in finishing with excellence results all he tackled on his journey inspired my intelligence and he became my trainer.
After becoming a mother, my first born child became my best master. I had never felt my heart aching because of so many entangled feelings at one time: joy mingled with fear, wonder with anguish, gratitude with anxiety. I started questioning my parents parental skills, adopting my own inspired by my inner knowing, pushing down my throat parenting books and getting advises from young parents. With the arrival of my second and third babies came a period of self discovery through white nights, daily chores, active working mum and playing parent.
At one point I became conscious of my running away from me, putting away my needs and becoming somebody else’s lifebelt. I put myself in a corner, hushed my needs and put on the saviour’s cap.
Then one day, sitting alone in the cellar after having an argument with my husband I kept having repetitive questions in my head: how did I get so deep in self-denial, not having the courage to allow myself a few minutes of self time, allowing others to put on my shoulders their responsibilities, be it at work or at home, not listening to my tiny voice to enjoy what I had and live in the present.
That was a turning point to go back to my child dream, put on my explorer cap and start digging deep deep inside…me. Sometimes it went down smoothly, uncovering happy memories, me and my kind and all smiles grandmother, the hiking with my father, the meals shared with my mum, the laughter with my sister, endless walks through the city with my husband, the crazy laughter with my kids, dancing like princesses, the theater plays prepared in secret by my kids and performed with seriousness and grace. Unknowingly my digging would hit enormous, ugly and scary boulders full of painful memories but that only reinforced my stubbornness and resolution to find ways to get rid of them: wasting energy to dig through them with unadapted tools, scream at them in frustration, victimizing myself for not being good enough to destroy or make them leave, digging around to avoid the pain and get back to the old good and juicy memories.
After the loss of my father I could no longer ignore the boulders left in my path, they were becoming bigger and bigger and challenged me to face them.
One day my mind stopped spinning around to find solution to get rid of them and I started doing what Pema Chödrön advised doing in her book ‘start where you are’ – I simply sat with my boulders, telling them they could stay where they were, they could become bigger and bigger if they wanted, I left them be and face whatever feeling arose from them, observing them with curiosity and understanding. I could not believe my eyes after a while when I discovered that my childhood dream came true…looking with my mind eyes at the map of my life journey I discovered with joy and astonishment that the enormous and ugly boulders metamorphosed in priceless treasures. These treasures helped me reach inner knowledge, helped me drop my armor and the walls surrounding my heard. At the same time they reminded me to stay humble and enjoy life even in the most difficult times. They also reinforced my resilience and taught me to respond with my heart and use my deeper knowledge to leave space for creativity and inspiration and get inspired by others.
We are all alike, at different levels of digging, choosing to reject or make friends with ourselves, accepting or not ourselves for who we are. Either ways, at a given moment we will reclaim our innocent, kind and powerful wisdom.