Well after Mondays' regurgitations, releases and insights, I had to have a rest yesterday. But in my resting came more clarity. I am going to call my Essential Self my Inner Diva from hereonin. Partly because that's a term I have been using for a while, before I identifed it as my Essential Self, but also because I can abbreviate it to ID, which seems very apt. ID as in Identity, because whatever we label we use it is our core identity that we are taking about here.
So back to yesterday's illuminations. I started to realise as I looked back across the last 30 years that my ID had constantly been trying to escape her cage and frequently has had enough influence to take me in certain directions. So it hasn't always been that I have done what I thought I should have done or what was expected or hoped for -sometimes far from it. But a lot of what I have done in my life has been coloured in with the pencils of guilt, fear, shame, worry etc. My Social self has certainly done a good job of making sure that if I followed the path of my ID, then I damned well felt guilty about it!
I can see that my perpetual lateness (usually about half an hour) as a teenager was my ID just pushing the boundary a bit, trying to cram that little bit extra into whatever I was doing. But my SS had me panicking all the way home, as I trotted huffing and puffing down the village trying to make up time, cringing at the telling off I would get for being late.
When I first moved to London after uni, my ID had me fall deeply in love with a gorgeous lad who did not fit any of the criteria my parents had for a 'suitable boy'. My SS prodded me with guilt that I hadn't found the ideal man of my parents dreams, until I ended up in counselling trying to unravel my feelings for Charlie and my need to alleviate my parent's pain (and not add to it).
I never did manage to reconcile that one and after a number of years of living two parallel and separate lives, with Charlie never answering the phone in case it was my mother, and pretending that we weren't living together, I finally gave up the ghost of trying. Sadly Charlie was the one I gave up. How familiar is this story? How many girls have given up the love of their lives to 'please' parent's ideals? Probably as many if not more than the girls who followed their ID and put their man first - as my elder sister did. Which is a whole other (and yes, significant)story.
I also began to remember more from my childhood. I can now clearly remember the toilets at infant school (yes I know, very bizarre), the Izal toilet paper that had no absorbent qualities at all, the taste of slightly warm school milk (I have never liked milk since), washing my hands in the tiny sinks, putting on plimsoles for Music and Movement, playing Cinderella in the school play and wearing a pink dress with lace on top of it.
I remember being a bridesmaid for my cousin when I was five and scowling because the sun was in my eyes for the photos. I can see my sister's hair, (she was a bridesmaid too) intricately piled on her head and probably set solid with a ton of hairspray (it was 1970). She looked so much older than 14. And I can clearly remember thinking that one day I would be her bridesmaid - but when the time came, I wasn't. I also remember choosing a little gold heart on a chain to wear with my gold bridesmaid's dress. I still wear that little heart now.
And with all this remembrance came the light at the end of the tunnel. It dawned on me that life is much like a railway journey - in and out of tunnels, punctuated by sudden light which might last for miles, blind you momentarily, give you immense clarity or be quickly superceded by another tunnel. Whatever, I have emerged from this seemingly interminable tunnel and let's hope there's a long stretch of track before the next one! Thank you so much to all of you who sent me support and comfort in that darkness.
Along with the light has come clarity of vision. I'll tell you more about that in my next post. I'm very excited! ... watch this space!
Tina B xx