“It takes courage to grow up & turn out to be who you really are.” -EE Cummings
Last night I went to my best friend’s house to drop off some items left over from my daughter’s birthday party. Now whenever I go, I tell my husband, “I’ll be right back. Just going across the street.” and he replies, “I’ll see you in an hour!”.
No matter how much I try to deny it, we get to talking & laughing & before we know it, an hour has came & went!
But this time, an hour wasn’t spent gabbing; instead, it was spent having my soul poured into. I spent 45 minutes with my hand on the doorknob, trying to leave, but hanging on every word of Oprah’s Master Class on the TV.
Oprah & Iyanla Vanzandt were talking to a man that had been struggling to overcome a drug addiction for the last 30 years, despite remaining clean for 3 years. My mind immediately went to my mother who has struggled with addiction most of her life & how watching this show could help her. But, I had no idea that this show would apply directly to my “never touched a cigarette & can only handle 1 adult beverage every few months” kinda life!
She asked this man who he would be without “the story.” The story being his past & his addiction. Before he could say,”a better person,” she cut him off & re-asked the question. Prodding for an answer that did not point back to his hurtful past. Even Oprah looked confused as Iyanla questioned this man, but she explained it so that it was as clear as day. This man was no longer addicted to the drug. He was addicted to the story, to his past hurts & distresses. He could recall that faster than anything further back in his past. He even referenced it & compared himself to it in the future. On one hand, the story felt safe because he knew it so well, but on the other hand, it was what was keeping him back from reaching his true potential & being his authentic self; who he was placed on this earth to be.
At that moment, as this man’s voice cracked, I started to think about who I would be if I didn’t have “the story.” I mean, I have no doubt that I would still be a creative being, but would I take more risks with my creativity? Would I pursue art as a full-time career? Would I smile & play more with my husband & children? Would I be more outspoken & more comfortable in the skin I’m in? Would I be more forgiving and less guarded? I’m not really sure, but I’m willing to take the time to find out.
We all have a story that makes up who we are, be it a good one or a bad one. The best part?…WE can decide to keep reading the same story, flip to another chapter or start a whole new story…so that one day our truly awesome beautifully colorful selves will emerge victoriously!
Until next time,
Live, Laugh & Be At Peace.
At Peace Arts