Growth and maturity is not linear. When we’re kids we grow in spurts, both mentally and physically. Then, one day, we stop. All growth and maturity from that point on is a conscious active decision caused by inspiration or a reaction to trauma.
We still grow in spurts, but they’re fractured painful jabs into the unknown punctuated by failure, by fear. The best of us create an habit of introspection and accountability. The worst of us dig in our heels and demand others change to accommodate us. Most times, we’re both of those people.
Adult life is full of uncertainty and navigating your own wounds around others. It’s amazing that any of us succeed at all. Sometimes I wonder if the best we can hope for is staying aloft in the air of happiness for as long as possible. To remain ever grateful for our best days, and know that we’re not owed any of them. Every single one is a gift.
Will we grow up? Will be heal? Are we cursed? I read recently that all of us have a family curse that hangs over us. A real magical spell that corrodes and tarnishes good things. Family trauma is passed down through generations and it causes us to bristle and act in ways we don’t mean. We feel helpless and predestined. Can we dis-spell that curse? Is there an incantation that allows us to break the cycle?
How do we find acceptance? How do we find and offer forgiveness? Which way do we go? There’s a crushing sense of inevitability to life sometimes. Who gives in first? Who softens and offers love first? How do we not remain recalcitrant and demand acceptance before we receive it? How do we get to a place where we aren’t desperately clinging to our need to be understood before we offer understanding?
I don’t know the answers to any of these things. I only know who I’d like to be one day. I only know what the best case scenario might look like. And I find myself crashing upon the shores of failure over and over again. Even as I grow. Even as I mature. I still make mistakes. I still fuck up. I still hurt others with my stubbornness and I constantly fall short of their expectations and needs.
I guess, for me, progress comes in spurts and backslides. I crave acceptance and understanding and love. Even at my worst. Even when I’m less than my potential. And maybe that’s unrealistic. Maybe that doesn’t really exist. I just want you to know I’m trying. I’m legitimately trying to be better everyday. Even when it looks like I’m not.
So here comes the night again. I am afraid to let down my weapons and swords and let the storm take me. I struggle to let go and trust others. But it doesn’t matter. The storm will take me anyway. I will be rend asunder once again.
I’m sorry. I’m always sorry. Even when that’s hard to say. Even when it’s not okay. Even when it feels cloying and fake. I’m always going to be sorry for pain and hurt I cause. Even when I’m trying best. Especially when I’m trying my best.
So here is my prayer for peace and growth.
May I be given the opportunity to fix my mistakes.
May I be granted the calm and clarity in times of stress.
May I find the power to give before receiving.
May all tomorrows, forever, be better than today.
May I always err on the side of kindness.
May I find a way to put others needs above my own without losing myself.
May I be given the benefit of the doubt, even when I’m wrong.
May I find acceptance and peace somewhere.
May I be found valuable and worthy of forgiveness.
May I break the curse and the cycles of trauma.
I hope it gets better for us. It has to. Because the thought of it not, is devastating.
Art by: Yuri Shwedoff