Monday, June 13, 2011

Overcoming our personal history

Yesterday I went to see a one-woman show by Brenda Phillips called No More Pity Party Blues. Brenda has a gorgeous voice and is a wonderful entertainer. (She is also an artist, and her "tickets" were take home cards of her art. Bonus!) Her material flowed through stories from her life, covering the first time she was "in love" in second grade through being sexually abused by "play uncles" through real loves in her adult life, to today. She shows how she has come to take responsibility for her own self, her own part in her happiness. Along the way there was wonderful singing of the blues and gospel that had the audience moving, clapping, and vocalizing along. Next time she brings this show out to play, be sure to go. I'll let you know as soon as I hear about it. This was a short notice kind of thing, Brenda will be bringing it back.
I too have been working on my own personal history, as I recently wrote about. We all have things we have to overcome. Some are worse than others. For me I find that some of the things that might be considered the most horrendous to others are not the ones that were hanging me up. Or maybe not the first step. My most recent non-fiction piece that I wrote about was about being molested by a friend of my mom's. Not losing my virginity at the age of 12, or being married at 15, or being a battered wife, or when I was raped, or the things that I consider much worse that I won't even mention here. But that molestation was what changed me from the innocent babe that I was, to the person I was to become. I began taking the steps to take charge of my own life, began making my own bad decisions that led to many of those bad things that happened later in my life.
At this stage in my life the big decisions all have to do with forgiveness. Brenda talked about that yesterday. Forgiving oneself. I find it relatively easy to go back and forgive my 12 year old self for the decisions I made, but I still stick at the decisions I made at 21 and older. Intellectually I can say that I did the best I could at the time. When I knew better I did better. My heart twists and turns when I try to forgive those decisions that resulted in pain for my children. I'm still working on forgiveness.

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