Choices and Limitations

I look at my life now and see twists and turns my journey has taken due to the choices I made along the way. There were times that I thought just to stop and not go further for the present was too painful. Then the road would open, and I could see a better tomorrow a little further up the path. There were many worlds I lived in at one time or another. Each was having a different impact on my life and the life of those around me. All of them had a role in making me the person I am now.

By the time I was seven, my world had consisted of five people, my parents, a sister, brother, along with myself. It was a cozy world of playing and laughing, eating evening meals together, sharing a room with my sister. I watched my small brother learn all the things a baby must learn. I took the lead in entertaining myself and my siblings. We made many of the things we played with. With my direction, we played the games that came so readily to my mind. My brother and sister took this as a matter of course, for their lives. I encouraged their input in what we did for fun. My parents, I think, were grateful that we played well together for the most part. All things were possible in this place. I knew of no other world, but this.

My school world was cramped in comparison to home. I had to walk a tight rope of unfamiliar rules and the social structure of my peers that vied for supremacy over all others. At home, I felt more valued. At school, it was rule or be ruled. Although I loved learning, I did not like the way things were around me. When I began reading, I could see a glimmer of other places that would help my melancholy. School was not a forgiving place. Everything was remembered and marked down. The possibilities were few, and the choices were limited.

I thrived in both worlds for a time, each with its set of expectations. I chaffed at the strictures, finally adapting to its limits in spite of longing for the freedom of younger days. Daydreams took the place of reality. I was careful to hide my intense yearnings and only indulge at home in the safety of my room. I played records of dreamy music singing along with the voices I heard, pretending to be a singer with a lovely voice that others listened to with rapt attention. Humbly taking a bow in front of my virtual audience, I vowed to be on a stage where I could be loved for what I really felt was me.

In high school, I did take the stage. I felt a wonderful sense of power in seeing the audience cry in sympathy or giggle at the charm of the character I portrayed. On the stage, there were possibilities again.

My world increased to include a church when I was seventeen. The church was even more limiting and structured than school. Now there was a book with all the rules that I was to learn and obey. There were expectations of my present behavior and activities, along with my future ones as well. Plans were made without my consent or even any input at all. My future was laid out with a husband and church role that included endless obedience and a closed mouth. Others assumed I would follow their dictates. Imagine their surprise when I didn’t meekly acquiesce. In this world, there were two choices. I saw even fewer possibilities. I was choking and did not see the noose.

A marriage at twenty-two opened my world to another side of life I only read about in books even then with much vagueness. Physical love was more than I dreamed it could be. I had not thought to be involved with someone so intimately, for my opinion of myself had fallen from those first heady days of youth. I soon learned that even with my world expanded to include a man to share my life with, it, too, could be limiting. I had been brainwashed enough to adapt to others’ whims and needs while suppressing my own. The noose was tightening, and the chair was in place.

In spite of all my attempts at being a “good wife,” the man I married found another more appealing. The church abandoned me with his resounding footsteps still ringing in my ears. The family I embraced for his sake turned and shunned me as if I was the reason for their crumbling world. I held on to the noose with all I had, but he was taking it with him.

I was in shock and overwhelmed. I missed the warmth of the noose for a while then decided it was more like a burn needing to be treated and healed. Suddenly there were choices galore and endless possibilities to dream about. Then my tentative steps led me from one moment to the next, each anticipating a further decision, a choice, then finally adventure.

My world expanded to include a career in nursing. I worked for a podiatrist in his office, and the universe came to me. The patients we saw brought with them their own small worlds. I entered their space, vicariously each day. I drank in all they had to teach. I was a sponge expanding and growing. I took care of them during examinations and surgeries, comforting my charges, and explaining their treatment. My advice was heeded. I mingled with co-workers and was a friend to my boss. My thoughts on subjects were sought. I had others in my life that valued me again. Choices became a daily occurrence, while possibilities presented themselves with the rising sun.

At twenty-seven, I became a bride to a man and mother to a seven-year-old boy. By living with two other people, my choices became limited. I chose this limitation this time around, it was not forced upon me. All other times in my life, to this point, other people or circumstances made my decisions. I felt a victim. Now it was different. I had the family atmosphere I had been seeking. My world increased to include people I loved and who loved me in return.

As the days sped by, a baby girl was born. I began to see that what I saw as limits were really only this human journey that began before I was birthed into this world. This small child lived in my heart for many years before she made her appearance in our home. She was just as real to me when I first dreamed of having her as my adopted son was standing in front of me. I had always believed that I lived before I was born to my parents, and I will live after I ceased to breathe this earthly air in legacy and spirit. I had choices and possibilities but chose the limits of this human suit for a time. Now my understanding is coming together.

I had read on a blog somewhere-

True positive thinking is not expecting the best…True positive thinking is accepting that what is happening 
IS the best for your future development, advancement, and growth.”

So the limits I perceived that I felt held me back were the best for me at that time and helped me to obtain the expansion that I desired. As a child grows physically, there is, at best, an uncomfortable feeling and, at worst extreme pain. The limbs lengthen, and the torso adjusts. The body appears gangly and then suddenly lithe. The mind may still dwell on childish things, but then there is acute insight brought forth that belies the years of the body.

After being in this present life for over fifty years, I have now arrived where choices are many, and possibilities exist as far as the eye can see. My world has expanded then contracted to go on to develop even more. I am aware now that I have always had these things, but my focus was on the lack of them. I looked at the space between where the print was small, and my eyes could not detect the truth. I now look at those spaces not as a “stop,” but more like a “rest.” This was only an intake of breath for the next item on the agenda of this life.

I look forward to another fifty years of expanding choices and endless possibilities.

~Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

To hear more of my story check out Metaphysical Girl available for Pre-Order for $7.99 until the publication date of December 26th, 2021. You will be able to find this book at your favorite online book stores and mobile apps where e-books are sold, such as SmashwordsAppleBarnes & NobleKobo

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