Maybe I Am Innocent After All.
When did I lose my innocence? When did the world stop being about discovery and joy?
Was it the first time I felt the blame of someone I trusted? Or was it a slow progression of self-doubt and denial of desire? It happens. We are taught that the world is flawed, that we are flawed.
We forget ourselves and learn to fear the thorns rather than appreciate the flower.
We create story after story about our role in the world. Everything becomes a big drama of control and blame and fear and possessiveness.
Challenges to our story become threats that could potentially take away the things we’ve claimed as mine. And how dare someone challenge my story and question the drama of me?
An open question of concern from a friend becomes treason. The slow traffic on the way to work is a personal attack. And my job — well, isn’t that the ultimate betrayal?
My work is but another source of frustration and challenge to who I want to be.
Being challenged is incredibly uncomfortable. I recoil from the questions of self-doubt that arise. My skin itches and thoughts prickle, begging for release from the discomfort that being me has become. I want out.
I feel everyone’s eyes on me. Questioning what is happening and why I’m struggling.
I see a way out. A way to redirect the attention. I look to who or what sparked these feelings, and create a story of blame.
I pour my heart into the words, feeling a small amount of relief as I tell my story to anyone who will listen, and then justice as they appear to believe me.
I keep pushing the story. Pointing fingers and drawing lines in the sand. You either support my story or you’re against me, becoming another chapter I’ll write to support my version of how I want to be seen in the world.
Everything is out of control as my thoughts and feelings escalate to new levels of blame. The villains of my story become selfish tyrants out to destroy my happiness. They care nothing for me, or anyone else for that matter.
I lash out, now justified in my attack.
But my skin still itches. And my thoughts still prickle. Something isn’t right. The once-engaged audience has grown bored, and is likely now engaged in their own drama of right and wrong.
In the quiet, I realize that the temporary relief I felt in telling my story was just a distraction from deeper feelings of inadequacy. Now my thoughts turn to the fear of loss. I fear the loss of self-importance and my need to be right.
In truth, I fear the loss of my illusions.
I can’t take the discomfort of being in my own skin any longer, and push against the surface. Cracks begin to form. An overwhelming urge to move and yell and laugh takes me over. And so I do.
Slowly at first, then all at once, the cracks split me open. Wide awake now, I watch the illusions that plagued me gently drift away.
When it comes, this loss of illusion, I feel nothing but calm. Rather than having my world cave in, I am set free.
The torment of fear is replaced with lightness and an understanding that the story I previously believed is no longer true.
I look to the source of my frustrations, and laugh at the ridiculousness of my previous blame. Everything around me is exactly as it was before. But now I am different.
I’ve felt the freedom in letting go of my need to be right, and prefer this lightness over the self-righteous indignation that previously soured my thoughts.
I begin to see that my personal challenges are nothing but mirrors, a reflection of those parts of me that beg for acceptance and release. My blames of selfishness are nothing but my own lack of responsibility.
I breathe deeply the knowledge that there is a better way. Free for the moment of my constrictive self, I feel only acceptance and gratitude. A love for what is, and how it has challenged me.
Perhaps it was all just a big misunderstanding. A misguided belief that I need to blame and fear the thorns that tear at me. To see the challenges as roadblocks rather than catalysts. Maybe I’m still innocent after all.
Caroline Stewart is a lover of all things beautiful and authentic — the perfectly imperfect. She oscillates between her outgoing desire to spread love and compassion with everyone she meets and her deep-seated need for quiet and solitude. When not digging in her garden, playing dodgeball, or exploring imaginary worlds with her two beautiful children, Caroline can be found curled up in the nearest sunny spot with a book in hand and a smile on her face. Caroline loves working on inspiring and creative projects. Currently she is Operations Director for ‘Marketing Ninjas’ and also freelances as a Business Planner & Coach. You could contact her via Facebook.