January 17th, 2005
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small suitcases

The universe is showing me all the unhealed places in myself one by one, and giving me a chance to heal them. And even though these things are so very difficult at times I am grateful for the gifts.
Neuroses. We all have them in varying degrees. They are like the clothes that we have stuffed into a suitcase that is too small, odd socks and underwear sticking out. They show themselves and we pretend they are not there. For a while.
I share these thoughts here because we all heal through our stories. My story is your story, and vice versa. And because I am feeling daring today. Strong.
For many years I have been possessed with a strange panic every time I leave the house. It works like this, upon my return from an outing, (usually after at least a few hours or so, worse if I have left for days or weeks), I am convinced that I will return to find my house gone. Burnt to the ground. Or that one of my cats is dead. Something horrible, it doesn’t really matter which. It always starts a few miles from my house. I am aware that these thoughts are probably irrational and not to my benefit, but they persist. I have recently come to understand that this fear started when I was quite young, eight or nine. I remember coming home from school on many occasions to find an ambulance in the driveway (for my mom who suffered from seisures.) Looking closely at it I think I learned at a young age that when I left home bad things could and did happen. And in those moments I felt that it was my leaving that somehow contributed to the bad things. What if she were to die because I was not there? The home became a symbol. For what? For safety, for control, for life.
I have been carrying these things with me in the suitcase for a while now. And I am ready to look at them and let them go. This inability to trust in life, and in myself. It is not the home, it is in me. It is not in my things. I have put so much of my need for security onto my home, thinking that it will save me or that without it I will not survive. I want to be able to trust that no matter what comes up for me in this life I will be able to deal with it in the moment. I am ready to stop fearing my mother’s death (or anyone else in my life now). It has already happened. Life is unpredictable, yet there is this part of me that still tries to control it all, wanting to shape it like a piece of clay.
“Fear is a habit. Fear can be taught and is taught constantly. Almost all fear is fear of the unknown. Therefore, what’s the remedy? To become acquainted with the thing you fear.” -Peace Pilgrim

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