Today is my youngest child’s 27th birthday. I am considering what that feels like. It makes me feel kind of old! I know that age is relative and I don’t really feel old, but you don’t get a 27-year-old baby without having some years under your belt!
What I’m really feeling is a kind of alienation…the feeling of being separated from others. I’m tracing this feeling back to see where it begins…I see myself crying into the fur of my childhood dog, Curly. I am about eight.
Events happened to me as a child that I felt I could not tell anyone about. Even at that young age, I knew I would not be fully understood. The pain of saying what was in my heart and having it rejected outweighed the pain of isolation so I stayed quiet.
I am saying what is in my heart every morning, now. I say it to anyone who cares to listen. I am not invested in being understood. As the years have passed I was given the gift of not taking personally what other’s think about me. Saying my truth feels important, but it’s not about who understands me. It is about clarifying my feelings for myself.
I realize that even those who say, “Right On, Sister,” claiming to agree with my thoughts and ideas, don’t know all of me. I cannot be known. No matter how transparent I become, there will always be a shadow hiding some part of me from others. I am surprised to see those words! I thought full disclosure was possible! I thought I could become like cellophane and everyone would see right through me.
“Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we see it. Just because we see it doesn’t mean we understand. “
Oh, I get it. I don’t see everything that is visible to me. I only see what supports my beliefs.
Even if I am able to shine the brightest light into the deepest corners of my shadow, there is no guarantee that what is there will be understood by anyone outside of myself. Maybe not even me!
I remain unseen. I remain estranged.