When my daughter was small (K to the end of grade 3) we lived in the apartments by the river; it's a mediocre building but a very convenient location and walking paths all around. I went through some difficult times when we lived there so I literally have not gone there since we moved. It's in a central part of town so yes I've driven by but I haven't spent any time there or even thinking about being there.
I listened to this video clip of Brene Brown called The Power of Vulnerability; in the video she said something that triggered an 'AHA' moment for me ~ "you cannot selectively numb your feelings". When you numb fear, guilt, grief and despair; you also numb joy, love, happiness and gratitude. This made me realize that my unwillingness to think or feel the pain associated with that time in my life also meant that I was unable to remember the love and happiness that I felt as a mother during that time.
When I pulled up in my car, I tensed up, held my breath and braced myself for the pain and anxiety that was bound to follow. Mylo and I got out of the car, I took and deep breath and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. And then a strange thing happened ... I was okay. The sky was blue with fluffy white couds, the grass was greener than I remembered and the air was fresh. As I walked along the path, I smiled as I remembered having picnics with my daughter beside the river, countless walks along the beautiful paths and the sound of her laughter as she played outside our patio door. We had a lovely apartment and many good times, many amazing memories. I've wasted too much time regretting the mistakes I made and allowing them to over-shadow the rest of that life which really was quite amazing. I'm glad I was finally willing to go there and I wonder why it took me 10 years.
I guess I'm just ready now ~ ready to face my fears, ready to embrace my truth. If you haven't seen her video clip on www.ted.com, I strongly recommend it. I really enjoyed it and in fact, I'm going to take some more advice from Brene Brown (also from the video) and I hope you do too...
Be seen for who I really am
Love with my whole heart
Believe I am enough