“Whatever we refuse to recognize about ourselves has a way of rearing its head and making itself known when we least expect it.” Debbie Ford
Recently, I had one of those flashes of old memories come flooding through my mind. I am sure each and every one of you have had them. They are kinda like a deja vu but then again they are tied to something real and definitely not from today.
This particular memory came knocking on my skull. I heard it loud and clear while I was going through the routine of rolling and bagging our quilts from our boat prior to our departure. All seemed rather routine — When wham! All of a sudden, my mind flashed. Ok, more like a thunder bolt or current running through me. I felt weak and sick to my stomach. What the hell! I took a few deep breaths. Being trained to know that “all emotions have a message” – I grabbed a seat and took a LISTEN!
The ugly memories and emotions came flowing in.
I recalled being a young girl of 9. My parents sent me off to camp for a week. I was not like the others, I was really young, skinny and not all that interested in even being there. But, I was told it would help build character. So, I went.
We had all kinds of activities including swimming, crafts, sports and hiking. At night, I secretly cried myself to sleep. I missed my family and all the comforts of home. In the morning, we had chores. I had to roll my sleeping bed tightly, and clean the tent. We were inspected for efficiency. Each tent was awarded point for good effort. The winners would be announced on the last day. Each day, as the camp leaders arrived, we each had to stand, like soldiers behind our beds. One morning, I was standing still, when the leader noticed my bed was not ‘perfect’ and I had puffy eyes to boot. She laughed and ordered me to clean pots. I am dead serious! My fellow roommates were furious! All the other campers went swimming. After that, I played ‘good camper’, pleasing everyone. On the last evening, we had a sing along, dinner and awards night. It was lots of fun. We all cheered as our friends won awards. The last award was being called. We all listened and they called out my name “Lorraine” I was so shocked and excited. I ran to the front and the camp leader said, “congrats”. I looked at what I had won. It was ” The worst camper award.” I felt sick!
So why did I get this flash today? Why share it with all of you?
I am not a little girl and have lived well, several (ok many) decades! This memory has a shelf life of about 35 plus years. So why now? How can an old memory knock you to your knees today? Well they can! I know first hand now! They are our old shadows coming up to help us make peace. I know that this memory holds shame and also part of myself that I long ago rejected. I created a commitment to never fail… and if I did never admit it. Not admitting it was masked by ‘pleasing others’.
I see how I made this mean so much. Like so many, we only want to see success. Failure is shameful and totally humiliating. But, it is part of who we are.
The little girl who had this happen is ME. I needed to make peace with this part of me. I needed to see a gift in it too. I admit, I can fail! I am coming out… I fail sometimes too! Don’t we all! 🙂
Lots of love and happy trails all…