From Obstacle to Compassion

Hi I’m Leslie, I have been on a path toward enlightenment for years now. All the seeking began when I realized that things just did not seem to be fulfilling me nor lessening my suffering. I laugh at this statement now but at the time it seemed fair enough. I now know that the spiritual path does not ensure or guarantee less suffering in life and often times it can mean even more discomfort. Because when we choose to meet ourselves we just do not know what we may get.

I grew up in a small town and I learned early on that I had what it took to make other people happy. I mean like really happy. I observed them and predicted things before they even knew they were unfolding.

But my commitment to pleasing others had an expensive cost.

I sort of skipped the understand that my priorities should have been more important than others. However, over the past 40 plus years I have figured some of this out.

You see, I experienced some sexual abuse as a small child. I say this only as a path toward the understanding that we have the power and choice to overcome any and all perceived obstacles. And actually use that perceived “wrong doing” (or obstacle) as a way of inspiring and helping others.

I believe this one time incident helped mold who I am today. I do not think about it and I have forgiven all parties involved. But it took me a longtime to realize that at that tender age I did not learn to say, “No.”

I instead silently learned that I had no voice, no power or authority over the things that happened to me …as well as the importance of keeping secrets.

I became a secret holder. Secrets are the root of dysfunction and destruction. More importantly, I deeply held a space within myself where I did not trust others or myself.

I have been digging my way out of some of these knowing and unknowing -since well, forever.

Some of the things that have been pivotal upon my path are as follows. I had to experience a trusting non sexual relationship with a male. I had to tell and share the details of the incident in order to remove the shame. I found great healing in looking the person in the eyes without naming the incident and lovingly saying, “I forgive you and I pray you have forgiven yourself.” I have had to learn that, “No” is a complete sentence. And one of the biggest lessons extended to me has been learning to sit with disappointing others. Think about this, if I had chosen to “tell” on that person …I could have learned to step into my own power, truth or voice. But choosing to be silent led to a life of being silent. Silent in my thoughts … silent in even considering I had a Truth … a choice …or really anything for that matter.

Please understand I am who I am today. I know in my heart that this perceived obstacle has shaped me into a more loving being. It has taught me to forgive, have compassion and understand that I never know what other people are facing. It has opened a space or the ability to somehow know when other people have experienced similar happenings. Because, in my opinion people who have experienced similar stories exhibit predictable behaviors. These behaviors are present at least until they choose to either get help or figure out a way to help themselves. The tendency is to be withdrawn, quiet, hidden, have a deep seated need to be approved of and the desire to keep the peace at all cost. Going unnoticed may seem okay, but deep down the inner child that lived though that scary forbidden moment is screaming to be let out … and to be seen. Particularly, seen by you.

It became imperative for me to learn to speak to that child. Tell her that I will never leave her. Tell her I will never hold secrets. Tell her that she is worth more than she can possibly imagine. Tell her that I have her hand. Tell her, “YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU CAN MOVE BEYOND THIS!” We will not be silent or unseen any longer. We have a life to live and it does not involve any chains from the past. We are free today and everyday. We are not our past we are not the future we are now and I LOVE YOU.

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