When I was in Kindergarten, we had an album in our classroom that our teacher Ms. Blank would play. As a kid, I loved that album so much. It was a rough time for me and the lyrics on this album felt as if they were speaking to me directly.
“There’s a land that I see where the children are free And I say it ain’t far to this land from where we are Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free Come with me, take my hand, and we’ll live” — Marlo Thomas
I felt compelled to run away. I wrote a note. I packed a small bag. I made a plan.
I was going to go to school that day, then I’d come home, eat a snack (of course) and get out. I was a latchkey kid so I would have time to finalize preparations and leave my note.
When I got home, though, my mom was there. I came in confused which quickly turned to panic when I realized she was holding my note. My aunt had come over during the day and I had left my note on the counter.
My mom was angry. Really angry. She yelled, “You are not going anywhere, you are staying right here!”
When you find out your kid wants to run away from you, your reaction shouldn’t be anger.
I was grounded for my thoughts. I was grounded for writing.
I started counseling recently. It was very difficult just getting in the door for the first visit. I didn’t want to go. I was holding on to beliefs that didn’t make any sense. Simultaneously, I knew that I needed to go.
Podcasts. I joked that I don’t listen to podcasts but I do. A lot of them. Mostly dealing with psychology and therapy and brain chemistry and the list goes on. They all said the same thing. Do the work. Get the counseling or therapy, or get on meds if you need them. Do. The. Work.
My counselor gave me this.
It came with a series of pages that I have to fill out. That was three weeks ago. I haven’t done it. I’m doing it today. What would I like to achieve in 2023? I would like to fill out these pages and quit holding on to the past. As the title suggests. Forgiving is for quitters.