There is a quote by Maya Angelou… “I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one's skin, at the extreme corners of one's eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.”
I believe these words to be true.
I have carried with me the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons. Things I can never fight. Ignore. Or neglect. There is a truth of where I come from. Of what happened behind closed doors.
The shadows, the fears, the dragons that haunt me. Residing under my skin. Lingering beneath every pore. Sending occasional chills now and again. Reminding me they are there. Reminding me they have never left.
There are also the dreams. The hopes I have grasped onto. The light that guided me out of such darkness. That reside within the same pores. Under the same goose bumped surface. That flow in the creases of my mind. That brighten my heart.
That have magically transformed the shadows into art. The fears into courage. The dragons into pets.
Those too have never left. Those too never will.
I welcome them all as pieces of me. The dark, the light. All that is in between.
The shadows have given me a story. One I get to rewrite. Paint with a brush I choose instead of one I was given. The fears have become my motivator. To keep moving. Keep going. Step by step. Word by word. A guide of how to break out of my comfort zone. Out of my shell. A visceral reminder that I am alive. The choice to go, to step forward, to change course of direction, to walk into the unknown, now my own.
With a little self compassion, the dragons fire has turned to smoke exhaled in relief as they rest on my door mat. Calm. No longer needing to fight a war we are no longer in.
A defense that once carried me through, but is now no longer needed. I pet and caress their rough scales for their loyalty for protecting me all those years, but now, I welcome their company. While allowing them to rest.
Now, I am a parent. A mother. So conscious of all my shadows, dreams, fears and dragons of my childhood home. So aware they are still there. Never leaving. So aware my son will have his own. No matter how much I try to protect him.
He will need to have his own shadows to recognize the light. He will need his own dreams to carry him out. His own fears to motivate him and maneuver his courage. There will be shadows the world gives him. There will be dragons to go with him into battles. To feed his need to protect himself. To persevere. To continue.
All I may have no control over. But I can keep them away from his home.
I can make his home safe. I can help build the dream that will keep him from lingering in such shadows. The hopes that lift him from his fears. The dreams that will help cause his dragons to take flight. Soaring him to new heights.
I feel the immense responsibility for building my sons home. Wanting so desperately for it to be so different from mine. Knowing it will be. Because I am graced and gifted with all the shadows, fears, dreams and dragons that have never left me. Keeping them as my companions. Making sure they will never repeat.
While acknowledging he will have his own struggles, his own wars. But I will help in every way humanly possible that the home that will never leave him has prepared him. To be independent, confident , resilient and at peace. That his dragons will become his pets. There for any need for battle, but calm. Resting on his door mat.