Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to be loved. She longed to fill every broken and cracked room in her soul with affection, warmth and care.
She felt empty. Damaged. Alone in a large and intimidating world. When this girl looked to the adults who were supposed to be in charge, she didn’t feel safe. They were drinking, fighting, manipulating, lying, hiding and punishing with bitter silences.
The girl ached for truth. She wanted to know what was right and wrong by watching it in action, not hearing about it in words, for the actions did not match the fancy, dressed-up lingo.
Over time, this girl learned to deny her own desires for love, honesty and kindness. She made her reality fit with her yearnings, even when the two things were oceans apart. She compromised, crammed, altered and minimized. In this way she could survive her own sensitivities to pain, darkness, fear and secrets.
Then the girl grew into an adult. By now her denial was as natural as the breaths she took, without once pausing to consider the function that her breath and denial played. She went to school, she worked, she fell in love, she got married, she had kids, she joined the PTA. The girl was now a woman, sleepwalking through her days and nights, frozen in her buried feelings, lying the same way her parents taught her to.
When the girl was 37 years old she finally woke up. The agony of feeling those emotions was excruciating, but at least now she could tell she was alive. She learned that minimizing your feelings leads to rage on a slow boil, so fucking toxic that it will eventually consume you if you don’t face it head on and call it by its proper name.
The girl found people who taught her how to love and how to be loved. It was foreign and exhilarating and awful. It was vulnerable, the only place she ever experienced actual freedom and truth. It took every ounce of bravery and trust she could summon. Every single day she had to find the strength to do it all again, but it was better than the frigid numbness of the first half of her sleeping life.
Now the girl could show her children a new path: one that embraced the entire feeling spectrum. This was big and expansive and wide by comparison. She could lean in and love with her whole heart. She could practice relying on others, not the ones who had routinely let her down, but a fresh set of people who proved worthy by their actions instead of their meaningless promises. Now the girl could breathe.
She could create for herself what her family of origin could not give her, either in her childhood or now. The cracks in her soul would heal but never disappear. They were reminders of what she had overcome, hopeful markers for those in desperate need of light and redemption. The girl had a dream to bring these broken and cracked souls together, to one place of nurture and belonging, so they could love one another back to life and know they weren’t alone any longer.