Things I Wish I Had Heard
Our greatest fears can be turned into our greatest strengths as long as we are willing to plunge head-first into the darkness. This is not easy by any means and it is not meant to be. We cannot become complacent in regards to the things that frighten us; unnervingly we must stare them down. Of course we will falter, fall, break, and crumble, but we must never give up. You may hate different events in your life, but you cannot allow those things to define who you are. You must continue with your struggles, despite them making you want to scream, and learn. Always learn.
Hearing the news that you had been molested as a child into your early teens really has altered my understanding of you. I think of you now and I realize that this series of events combined with the death of your best friend/ cousin must have rocked and shattered your very core, foundation… being. I know it is not possible for me to really ever understand how it has made you feel, but I am willing to learn. I admire the inner strength you must have to endure so much and yet have such a wonderful, wise head on your shoulders. I cannot imagine I would be very sane if I experienced any of what you have.
I understand you have many things you are working through and toward, however, I do not think of you as broken. To me you are a beautiful person striving toward truth, toward your inner peace and happiness, and searching for what is real. When I imagine you, you are standing triumphantly arms out-stretched on a cliff surrounded by lush vegetation and overlooking soul-piercingly blue water. As you stand, you allow yourself to become one with the intense, yet gentle winds. They swirl, kiss, push, and roll on your body as if you were Lord of the Winds. You smile, nay beam brighter and bigger and reach your fingers into the breeze, guiding it as it cleanses your soul and cools the pain. In this image, you are flooded with a golden light all about you, shining brilliantly, mimicking the joy and contentedness that you are radiating. This picture of you may not be where you are at right now, but I feel it is an accurate portrait of your soul. I only hope that one day soon this image will come true for all parts of you.
In the meantime, things will not be so wonderful all of the time. You know you have much to do, therefore I will not waste your time telling you things you are more aware of than I, but I will tell you this: never compare yourself to anyone else and always strive toward truth, honesty, and self-awareness. Do not tackle many of the things you view as faults all at once, but carefully, kindly, and slowly seek self-betterment. Remember your wise soul, but do not neglect your inner child and do not forget he often moves at a slower pace than your soul. Recognize this, recognize the child is often frightened and do not brush this off. He has valid opinions you need to be aware of; if the child or the soul find something disagreeable, frightening, or to cause even the slightest hesitation, do not disregard it. This is not to say you never should be spontaneous, but rather so in tune with your body that you are capable of being spontaneous; you know your soul, body, and mind so well that your spontaneity will not toss you several thundering steps backward.
Thus, we come back to your past. I wish I could have been there to protect you from that monster. I wish I could have picked up on the signals you gave and instead of becoming wrapped up in dramatic possibilities I would have questioned the environment and people around you. I did a poor job protecting you, thus I understand your caution and feelings of lack of safety. I apologize for not recognizing you were calling out for help and from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologize for putting you into so many situations in which it was easier for him to make you his prey. He is a vile, disgusting man capable of twisting your thoughts, actions, and words to please his every whim; it was not your fault!
I apologize for never asking you how all of this has made you feel, but instead turning it all onto me. I deeply apologize for all of the cruel thoughts and words I have projected upon you; it was uncalled for and highly immature on my part. I apologize for not understanding or accepting your wishes nor embracing you on the journey you are embarking upon. I never should have been so ignorant and indignant toward the paths you are taking; I especially apologize for my attitude toward your name change. Now that I have had time to think about it, I really think Thatcher fits you best; it truly does embody your passion for the environment, the outdoors, and nature. Not everyone will not see it that way, but what matters most is that you are doing what is best for you; you are on a journey none may go on with you and that none may alter. I wish you the best and know that you will come out an even stronger, wiser, better man.
Forgive me for the void that I have created and allowed to unremittingly increase. I understand you have never felt safe nor at home and maybe that is why you continue to travel so much; searching for a place you might call home. I do not hold it against you that you cannot return feelings of love and trust to me and others because of all that has been done to you; I only hope for a day when you can trust and love without worry or reservation. I wish you could have had the childhood you deserved instead of the nightmare you do have; even the good fragments of your childhood you do remember are tainted and peppered with what has happened to you.
There are many things I could have done better, but most importantly, I wish this had never happened to you. I know it has caused you a lot of distress and I would give anything for it to have never occurred. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, but I can tell you I will patiently be here for you whenever you are ready to talk or need to be around someone.
It is also important for you to realize that you are not the events that happened to you, or in other words, do not allow them to define who you are. Rather, the way you have responded to the events is what has made you into the strong, wise man you are today. I know you have confusions, ponderings, and many other thoughts to work through, but do not get too imprisoned in that cycle; allow yourself to see the beauty around you and within you. Embrace the strength you have had in order to grow into the man you are today; you should be proud of who you are because if you were not as strong as you are, you would not have turned out to be as wonderful as you are. Learn to appreciate all of you; trust yourself, take care of yourself, and most importantly, love yourself.
It may seem absurdly difficult to see your self-value and permit yourself to begin loving yourself again, but you must try for there are many great things about you that you fail to perceive. In not loving yourself, you are limiting yourself and who you could become; do not constrain your possibilities and potential. Learn how to love yourself so that you are able to wholeheartedly love that which is around you, witness an increasing drive for life and an unwavering (but not boastful) confidence.
Start small; jot down the things that you like about yourself and little by little began to actually believe it. Do not do as Henry David Thoreau indicates in your favorite quote and become wrapped up in unimportant things in life. Leave the insignificant things behind and run toward the magnificent. Forget about those who only bring discomfort and poison into your life; regardless of prior connections to you. Do the things that make you happy and do what you need in order to find out more about who you are. As I mentioned, you are on a journey, but do not rush it. Be like that image of you I mentioned; allow yourself to stand on a hilltop and feel the breeze work its way around and in your body; telling it you are here, you have arrived. Be active; we both know that you find yourself falling into slumps and funks and if you traipse outside- swim, bike (when you can), hike, run, etc.- you will find you are able to process things, feel at home, and more at ease.
Climb a tree. Embrace your likeness toward the mighty bur oak; stand tall and firm enduring all storms and fires. The unobservant eye may see you, the bur oak, as scraggly and unattractive with branches twisting and curving with no rhyme or reason, but those eyes fail to view an elegant, stable and powerful tree. Do not let their false perceptions of you define who you are. Despite it all, you, the rugged oak, majestically and beautifully continue. Observe and be aware of these things. Watch as you blossom and grow and the trouble and agony fade away. Then dive into the water and peer into one of the only places you have ever found comfort and solace. Let the cool water envelope you and take you over. Remember how safe and at home you felt as a child leaving all of your cares and worries behind; escaping. Remember how much you felt a part of the water and never let that feeling slip away. Let the water purify and refresh your mind and soul. Let it become you.
You are all of this- Lord of the Winds, a mighty and majestic bur oak, and part of the water- and more. Do not lose sight of you; your potential and who you are striving to be. No matter what comes your way, continue on your journey and learn to love yourself, only then will you truly find the happiness you are searching for and ultimately deserve.
Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them. –Henry David Thoreau