I loved that place.
Our old house that told many stories through all its creaks, secret doors and peeling layers of wallpaper.
A little bit scary, but mostly awesome.
The perfect house for me and my imagination.
My favourite spot was the treehouse. I’d always wanted a secret lair surrounded by branches. I’d keep my brothers out, and I’d retreat with my stack of books and get lost in other worlds. Those were the years of Harriet the Spy, Famous Five, Encyclopedia Brown and the rest of my favourite childhood reading adventures.
My memories of home in that little town are so powerful and strong. Home was my safe place and sanctuary. I still dream about that house. Yet that season was also a deep time of rejection. Leaving the house was hard. It’s not easy to start over. It’s hard to be new and for my young heart it was a scary time when I had to go outside the brick walls of my home and leave my beloved treehouse behind.
I still remember the dagger-like words, what I was wearing and places I stood. Hate that was thrown. Avoiding mirrors and reflections and shoving identity deep down to protect my heart.
I created a mental escape. Every night in bed, I’d imagine this machine. It was like a slide. I’d start at the top as myself, then when I came out on the bottom I was whoever I wanted to be.
I’d imagine myself beautiful.
I’d imagine myself popular.
I’d imagine myself loved by everyone.
I’d imagine myself not as myself.
Those daydreams helped me cope.
Life went on. We moved again. I grew up. I worked years on overcoming hurts from there (and other places), knowing there is healing for deep wounds. Yet, somedays the past pops back in for a visit and tries to take over the future.
Even now. In seemingly healthy grown-up life. Recently, I was invited to an event. I would have loved it, I was honoured and excited to be asked. Yet, I wasn’t brave enough to go. I had a valid reason not to attend and I was secretly relieved. I immediately disqualified myself the minute I got the invite.
I don’t belong there.
All of a sudden I’m back on that playground, the biggest misfit the world has ever seen.
Do you ever find that inadequacy can creep in slowly? Deep hurt slaps you in the face when you least expect it?
We put on past pain like a pair of glasses that affects the lens through which we see.
We tell ourselves lies.
As a result we waste time and energy on thoughts and feeling that rob us of joy and cause us to miss significant moments.
We let our past experiences affect our future destinations.
Don’t get stuck in that place.
I’ve have a little secret, one that I’ve trained myself to do over the last couple years. I don’t do it naturally, I do it intentionally. It takes effort and commitment, but I have learned I can control the way I think. When I feel that sting or pang I can change the course of my thoughts, I can adjust my focus.
I look doubt and rejection in the eye. I know who I am
Give inadequacy a swift kick. I can do all things
Stomp my foot hard. I won’t get stuck here
I am exactly who I’m meant to be.
Fearfully and wonderfully made.
Living life where I’m called.
With purpose set out before me.
Trusting the One who gives me all things.
Continually moving way past the hurts of the playground,
no longer content to hide away in the treehouse.