When I launched this blog three months ago, my sole purpose was to articulate what was percolating up in my mind as I work through issues regarding childhood trauma. What I wasn't expecting is how much what I was writing would resonate with other people, and on so many levels. Through the messages readers have sent me and the ensuing dialogs that transpired, I've been able to take many of my ideas further and challenge my core beliefs. Another beautiful gift that has come into my life as a result of this blog is the opportunity to correspond with people all over the world who are on a similar journey.
Yesterday, I received a comment on my blog from a long lost friend who I have recently reconnected with. He was responding to my post on patience and how I'm learning to embrace it to weather the inevitable swell of emotions, setbacks, and euphoria as I peel back the layers of self-doubt entombed in my experiences with childhood sexual abuse. My friend cited a well-known quote from Pablo Picasso. "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." The first time I encountered this quote was in a Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert when she too referred to the importance of action no matter what quest we may find ourselves on, be it spiritual or artistic. What struck me at the time was how often we wait in vain for our muse to appear, yet we neglect to be in the space to receive that inspiration because we haven't taken the initial steps ourselves.
One of my favorite quotes from President Obama is: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change we seek." I lived 35 years of my life with the secret of childhood sexual abuse, and every day I buried the shame a little deeper, and with each day, I became a little more detached from the person I wanted to be. I was naïvely waiting for the inspiration to change, for it to magically arrive in my life. This process of transformation finally arrived when I got busy doing the "working" Picasso refers to—when I disclosed the abuse publicly; when I entered a treatment program for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and when I began the soul wrenching work of processing the childhood trauma.
When I entered AA 16 years ago to deal with my addiction issues, the hardest lesson I had to learn was that “healthy sobriety” is not a gift that comes without action. It's an ongoing process of self reflection in conjunction with the regimented program of action suggested through the 12 steps. I believe this is where I, and many others, have stumbled in that simply willing the situation to get better, or a burden to be lifted, rarely occurs without a change in consciousness, or an action taking place in our life.
It is with all of this in mind, that I look upon my friend's comment on my last post as the beauty of serendipity entering my life through inspiration. Moving towards the dream of living a more wholehearted life requires only one thing of me—“moving", and this may be forwards, and at times backwards, but the simple act of working leaves me open to inspiration and growth, a continual reckoning of that which is within in my reach, but still lies beyond my grasp.