Staring Down the Past

A couple of days ago, I had an opportunity to stare down the past.  Not just take a peak or glimpse.  I actually relived a painful moment as though it was happening at that moment, in real time.  It was so real, it shook me to the core.  Of course, because of my obsessive nature, I went against all I’ve learned about living life to its fullest and began a trek of binge watching painful episodes of the past.  Or at least that’s what I thought it would be.

What ended up happening both surprised and haunted me.  I saw an afflicted young girl, who had a troubled upbringing, falling in love with a tortured young boy.  Of course, the physical elements of the two were not children, but the emotional growth had been severely stunted.  I watched the events of my past unfold with such empathy that it almost felt like the girl wasn’t me at all, even though it was one hundred percent, completely me.  Let me explain.

This young girl and boy fell deeply in love, like in romance novels.  The love was tender and poignant, like in romance novels. But the relationship was doomed from the start, like in romance novels. How could two very naive and emotionally immature people make their way together through life with so many obstacles in front of them?  I was sadden for them.  For them.  I was part of them, my body, my unfledged mind, my wide-eyed soul.  Why did I feel like an outsider looking in?

That girl, whose very feelings I anguished over, left me feeling unhinged.  I have outgrown her, yet she is still a part of me.  All the pain, all the torment that I felt as her I now feel for her.  In the past, I weeped for what “could have been” between the boy and the girl when all along what could have been was what really happened.  All this time, I had it in my mind that things could have been different if only…  After all this time, I realized it could have been nothing more than what it was: ill-fated.

“The past is never where you think you left it.”
Katherine Anne Porter

Today, I can pick up the pieces of that girl, embrace her, comfort her, love her.  I can’t live my life now based on what could have been, only what it could be at this very moment.  Now is all I have.  With that being said, I have grown so much in many, many ways: my faith in my Higher Power to lead me if I listen, my trust in myself and whatever feelings I have as being valid and genuine, and in believing that everything happens for a reason.

There is a reason that my Higher Power led me to examine my past, the life and times of the afflicted young girl with the troubled upbringing and the love she still has for that tortured young boy.  What it is, I still don’t know, but if I trust in my Higher Power, I may one day grasp the answer.  As Porter surmised, “The past is never where you think you left it.”

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