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I still believe

There are some self truths you hold onto from childhood and others you collect along the way as you go from child to teenager, to young adult and then adult.  Our belief system is established in childhood by the adults that are our parents, teachers and religious leaders.  There are a lot of absolutes we learn, we learn how to pray the “right way,” we learn how to view the world in the “correct way,” we learn what is expected of us and we learn quickly that it is best to mimic rather than explore our own hearts. 

I thought how strange it had never occurred to me before that I was only purely happy until I was nine years old. -Sylvia Plath

Disney movies paint a picture of life where if one part of your life is dismal and sad, there is another part that will be filled with magic and joy.  The premise seems like an old fashioned scale, sadness and drudgery equal one prince, a fairy godmother and life inside a castle.  Life is rarely Disney style perfection.  But there is one thing we can learn from Fairytales and that is, strength and believing in yourself is a form of magic.  

No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true. -Cinderella

Childhood isn’t always a time we can look back on with joy.  It is healthy and perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that:

  • How you were raised might not have been healthy, emotionally or physically
  • The religion of your childhood may not be the one you wish to practice now or how you practice your religion may have changed
  • How you dress or present may have evolved
  • You might have come out or contemplated coming out
  • Your childhood memories may be traumatic rather than joyful

However, it is also important to acknowledge that your childhood does not have to define you.  You don’t have to be the person you were molded into becoming.  Break the mold.  It is far from uncomplicated, but in life, what we desire we work the hardest towards.  No one wakes up one morning and thinks, six pack ABs would be nice and then after a few days of crunches, voila!  No, it takes time and dedication towards eating well, exercising and a sprinkle of really good genetics.  

...after all, who isn't a survivor from the wreck of childhood? -Nicole Krauss

Just like with a fitness goal, a life goal takes time and dedication to achieve.  You have to dig deep, believe and invest in yourself in order to see real change occur. Change doesn’t just happen after you move out for the first time.  Your mind isn’t erased and your brain wiped clean.  You still have this whole belief system that you have either been railing against your entire childhood and teen years, bought into completely or fall somewhere in between.  Suddenly, you are in an environment where everyone is not like you, different belief systems and ideals abound, you start to meet people who were raised differently than you and believe differently than you.  For perhaps the first time ever it occurs to you that you have a choice in deciding what to believe and what ideals to espouse.  Change can only  occur when you are brave enough to stand up to the past and forge a new path for yourself, one you define.  

I think it is unnatural to think that there is such a thing as a blue-sky, white-clouded happy childhood for anybody. Childhood is a very, very tricky business of surviving it. Because if one thing goes wrong or anything goes wrong, and usually something goes wrong, then you are compromised as a human being. You're going to trip over that for a good part of your life. -Maurice Sendak

Life is rarely fair, we are all dealt a hand from time to time where it seems we can’t catch a break, but in life there is always a way out. Your way out is to learn a new and healthier way, both physically and mentally, to live your life.  Support, counseling, therapy, treatment, medication, are all tools, so is empathy.  Not toward the adults that were poor role models or terrible parental figures, but towards the child you once were.   Empathy for the vulnerable child you once were that did everything they could to survive.  Bless our wayward past, forgive the bad choices we made along the way, endeavor to learn from the past, but also not to dwell there long.  

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in...We should be thankful we cannot see the horrors and degradations lying around our childhood, in cupboards and bookshelves, everywhere. -Graham Greene

As always, thank you for reading, thank you for supporting and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey.

-Team SG

 

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