In a few days, I’ll be leaving for a week long visit to my former hometown, Toronto, and then my first hometown in rural Ontario . I haven’t been back for almost ten years and I guess I feel now is finally the time to face some things that I’ve been avoiding for quite a long while.
My early life was pretty difficult and I’ve worked hard at a) not thinking about it and b) pretending it did not happen. Unfortunately these two coping mechanisms aren’t working very well for me anymore so off I go on a slightly apprehensive trip down memory lane. I’m pretty sure I’m in a place where I can confront the ghosts and demons of the past without being destroyed by them. Still, it’s a tall order I’m asking of myself and, therefore, a little anxiety inducing as well.
My hope for this journey is some kind of resolution of things that have haunted me for far too long. I want to find a place in my body and soul to accept what has happened in the past, know that it doesn’t define me and know that I don’t have to run from it anymore.
I don’t have a vision of how I think this healing will look or conversations I hope to have but I have a deep sense that I need to do this. I need to be brave and just do this. I guess I’m taking a leap of faith that I will come back home to Vancouver a stronger, more whole person. And that, if that happens, would be a most magnificent gift.
This excerpt from The Lion King was given to me several months ago and has really stayed with me. In a way it inspired me to finally embark on this very necessary journey.You never know what unexpected places will hold the words of wisdom you need to hear.
Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.
[swings his stick again at Simba, who ducks out of the way]
Rafiki: Ha. You see? So what are you going to do?
Adult Simba: First, I’m gonna take your stick.
[Simba snatches Rafiki’s stick and throws it and Rafiki runs to grab it]
Rafiki: No, no, no, no, not the stick! Hey, where you going?
Adult Simba: I’m going back!
Rafiki: Good! Go on! Get out of here!