On the Inside

I used to keep a lot on the inside.

At first it was the fact that I didn’t want my Mom to leave me with other kids at daycare and then didn’t want her to pick me up.

I would spend time with her and the other mothers watching their children play.

I was content to be with them and not with the other little people my age.

Today, I still struggle with connection at times.

 

Then I didn’t speak up about the sexual abuse from a “family friend” when I was eight.

I thought it was my fault.

I know now, it was not, but then I was convinced that it was.

I start by believing survivors of physical or sexual abuse and I advocate for them now.

Shame cloaks itself in silence and stigma is the overcoat, shutting it all away.

I heard once, “People wear their guilt, but lock away their shame.” I can totally relate to that.

Today, I am now more aware of Shame and how it caused me to siphon off parts of myself.

 

I didn’t speak up about all the ways I was killing myself softly.

Shame proceeded this period of my life where the fun I thought I was having was causing me problems.

The darkness was ever present even on the sunniest of days.

Today, I know how dark it is before the dawn. And it’s been many years of more well living.

The healing process continues.

 

I didn’t speak up about the soul-crushing seasons of singleness.

Open up social media and you will be convinced, even with the strongest of support systems that. You. Are. The. Only. One. Who. Is. Still. Single.

This is Fear whispering horrific lies to you.

When Love is telling you that while you’re waiting you’re lovable and that you’re never really alone.

That life will be what it is supposed to be and that the liminal space is there for a reason.

Here too, Shame crept in, that the opportunities in the past were the only ones and that I had squandered those.

This was my burden. While others had other ones, this was my cross to bear.

Today, I am more aware of Love and Fear and how they are both clamoring for my attention.

Some days Fear gets the best of me.

However, it’s good to write that Love is in the lead.

 

Now, what is on the inside is the relationship I have with Divine Love.

Divine Love tells me that Love was correct all along.

Shame while real is a ruse and is friends with Fear.

Shame and Fear work together to get me off balance.

Yet Love abounds everywhere and is my safety net.

A sweet, dear marble jar friend reminded me of one of her favorite quotes about miracles.

Either life is filled with miracles or it is not.

Today, Divine Love is on the inside, but I see Divine Love everywhere, when I’m present and aware and that friends, is one of the biggest miracles.

Chidimma Ozor