The ever-present question for me and many of my students…What blocks me?
Michelle, a new student from my recent 4-week series of Releasing The Writer Within, wrote the following piece. I will not editorialize too much; I think it speaks for itself.
You asked me the question, “What blocks me?” I originally thought it was “Change”, then “Fear of the unknown” when a change in my life occurs. But when I stated, “When the shit hits the fan…I always seem to be able to step out of the way.” That’s really it in a nut shell isn’t it…Although not quite.
I look back through my life and I’ve always been that way. The one to stand in the middle of chaos, whether it is a family drama situation or hurt feelings between friends. I never choose sides, I stand firmly in the middle, claiming “Switzerland” and somehow diffusing a potentially horrific battle, while remaining neutral.
I look back to my childhood and it wasn’t always like that. I grew up in a big family and we all know “Big Family…Big Drama”. You see, I had to be the glue that held us together at one point. My Mom had cancer. I was in high school at the time and being the oldest daughter, well the only daughter; I just stepped into her shoes. The guidance counselor helped me arrange my class load to all morning classes so I could get home before lunch time. My Dad would bring Mom in for radiation in the mornings and then I would take over. You see I understood that he had to get to work and my Mom needed me. I would help her to bed; bring soup, toast and tea. I’d tuck her in, piling high with warm comfy blankets or bring her a basin and cool cloth. I never had despairing thoughts or felt the usual thoughts of a selfish teenager…”How could this happen to me?” But instead did what I had to do. I’d cook dinner, wash laundry and when my little brothers got home from school, there would be a snack waiting for them and I’d be there to help with homework. My Dad would come home early and take over then and I would leave for work. He would always give me that exhausted hug and smile with a knowing expression that only I understood.
I sit here reflecting upon that time and realize that I’m wrong about something! When the shit hits the fan I don’t step out of the way! Sometimes I let it hit me square on, but it really doesn’t matter how messy it is…It’s how you clean up the mess that really counts!
Thanks for letting me share my story. By writing it down, it has allowed me to learn something about myself that I didn’t realize was there. An inner strength and love for my family that goes beyond responsibility. It wasn’t just about a task to be done, a job or dependability….It was a choice I made to be there for my family no matter what! And I’d do it all over again without a second thought!
What a great letter! Michelle sounds like a very special person, and it was neat to see her begin to realize something about herself through writing this letter. (See? Another good thing about writing is that it helps us understand ourselves.)
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