You can’t change the past, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep living in it
The answers in life may not be where you think.
She was born straight into it. Not having an idea about what it would be like or why. As a young wide-eyed child, she didn’t know that her father never wanted to have children. She didn’t know that she was different than her mother. How could she have known?
The family was constantly on the move. Her father’s job determined where they would go next. All she knew was that nothing was forever. Everything was to be left behind at some point.
She did not know that she was hyper-sensitive, that she fully took on the emotions and energies that were bouncing around her wherever she went. She did not know that she needed emotional support and love, just like everybody else. Perhaps even more than many others. And had she known, she still wouldn’t have figured out where to look for it or who was supposed to give it to her.
Growing up, there was never a sense of family. They were all just a group of people living under the same roof. Nothing was wrong, nobody was abusive, nobody was ever physically hurt. They just lived there. They just went about the practicalities of their days. There were no deep discussions. No crazy fights. No expression of emotions. They just got along and adapted to their new lives and ever-changing environments. Until they moved again.
The kids were just things that had to be moved along with other belongings. It was a matter of logistics. Getting them to a new home and to a new school. They had to make everyday life work.
The father didn’t care much for the children, as he had never wanted them in the first place. He had enough to think about. He wanted to focus on work, making money and having a comfortable life of his own. The children were allowed to be around him if they didn’t cause too much trouble. But they didn’t add anything to his life really. The kids were just there as a project for the mother, to give her something to do all day.
In their first-born, a boy, the mother found someone to love. Someone who was kind and quiet like her. Someone who was well-adjusted and soft-spoken. Someone who felt a need to please others. Someone she could bond with and feel connected to.
Then she came, the girl, the second child. She was the wild one. The curious one. She was the one who asked all the questions. She was constantly exploring. She was the one who climbed the trees and yelled from the top. The one that would not sit still. The one who craved attention. She was independent and could not be controlled or changed.
The mother didn’t know how to love that child. She didn’t understand her. Perhaps she did not even like her.
The mother let her be.
She was left to figure her own life out.
So she did.
She grew up. She went on with her own business.
She was moody and unhappy as a teenager, but then again, who isn’t? In her twenties, she felt like her entire insides were tied up in knots. She was angry, dissatisfied, negative and lost. She was constantly looking for something she couldn’t find. She felt trapped in her life.
It was as if she was somehow hoping to one day become somebody else. To feel something else.
On went life.
Years later, after searching in the depth of herself, as well as all over the world, she had finally started to come to terms with the fact that she would never find what she was looking for. She couldn’t seem to grow out of her own skin. She couldn’t be less sensitive. She couldn’t stop being restless, no matter how much she moved around. She couldn’t stop waiting for the day when everything would be different. When she would be different. When she would be open and carefree. When she would just glide through life effortlessly. When she would love deeply and receive it back unconditionally. When she would magically appear in the movie that was her real life and everybody would be waiting for her there.
In the fourth decade of her life, she was on one of her many trips, having breakfast alone at yet another hotel restaurant. She casually plugged in her earphones and listened to an interview.
She was ignoring the world. Going about a regular and uneventful morning. Just listening to somebody else’s story.
And there it was.
It was there, in the words that a stranger told about themselves. There was her truth, too. There was the reason why she had been searching for years, for decades, for all her life.
It was so simple. The thing that was gnawing at her from the inside. The misalignment. The sense of never being fully balanced and at peace. The need to always search for something else, for something more. The need to change herself.
The answer was right there.
She had never belonged.
She had not belonged in her country. Not in her city. Not in a relationship. Not at work. Not with friends. Not even in her own family. She had never really been a part of something bigger than herself. She had never known a feeling of true belonging and love. She had just tried to adapt. To do better. To work harder. To get attention and approval.
All this time, she did not know that all she had been looking for, was a place to belong. A place where she could be who she really is and still be safe.
A place where love does not depend on how pleasing she is or how hard she works.
A place to call home without having to find it alone.
A family in which she was just as important as everyone else. A family in which she did not have to fight for her place. A family in which love was expressed and given freely.
That’s all she had been searching for.
Not a new geographical place that suited her better. Not a more exciting job. Not a more interesting partner. Not a way to work smarter or harder. None of that would have changed what she was feeling inside.
She had not been looking for a new self, a smarter mind or a more beautiful body. She had not looked for a less sensitive soul. All of that was a part of her.
She couldn’t change that. Her life couldn’t be undone. She couldn’t change herself. She cannot erase what she had felt and still was feeling.
Instead, she finally understood what she had to do. She had to stop trying to fill in the gaps from the past. She had to stop feeling like something was wrong with her and that she was different. She had to stop searching in all the wrong places.
She needs to liberate herself from all previous beliefs and emotions. She must peel all of that away and start fresh, in the same body and mind, but with new beliefs and intentions.
She can grow.
She can create her own belonging, her own family, her own tribe of supporters. She can stop looking for approval and instead give it to those she cares about. She can be sensitive, but without taking responsibility for all the energies around her.
She can give love and create the safety she herself wants to live in.
She can forgive others, as well as herself.
She can accept her past, but not let it hold her back. She can choose to not go on believing that she is doomed to just skim the surface of life. She can stop thinking that it’s best to just be alone. That it’s safer to not fully love.
She can do all of that.
Because in the end, she just wants to belong.
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