I’d like to think of myself as a fairly good person. I’d like to think that throughout the time I’ve been alive on this planet I’ve been fairly awake, making fairly conscious decisions rooted in a basic value system that my mother helped instill in me at a young age. I also of course know I’ve hurt people. I think it’s safe to generally say those actions were never acted upon from a cruel place where my intention was to hurt another, although even as I type that I can feel the defensiveness surfacing in my body. When it comes to acts of hate, do our intentions really matter?
In light of what’s been going on in our world culturally, I’ve been pushing myself to take a look at a deeper connection with self. I’ve been looking at how this motto of mine, Choose Love, has come to mean so much to me, and how in reflecting on my life, how I might not have always acted from this place. I’ve never been a hateful person and therefore I never saw any old actions as acts of hate. Yet in looking back I know there are some people that deserve an apology from me. There are some people who I hurt because I myself was hiding, and there are some people I hurt because I was following my heart. Whether my perspective now leans more towards the, I was young, immature, and didn’t realize what I was doing, I know I have caused pain for some people and that my intentions were not felt from their side, and therefore, don’t entirely matter.
My memories of my childhood are completely wrapped up in being myself. I see now that what I remember as being myself was something that others weren’t quite comfortable with themselves in so it created a certain status for me. I simply remember not caring what others thought of me, I remember not caring who talked to me or who didn’t, but rather, given my extreme like of people, just enjoyed the socialability of middle school. This friend of mine told me it was true for elementary school too, and I couldn’t help but feel like she was telling somebody elses story. Although who is to say she wasn’t inserting some of her own bias, I do know that during that time of innocence, I used my comfortability with people, my social skills, and unique for the age we were, extroverted nature to have fun. I remember fun being my number one priority, no matter what we were doing. My best friend and I used to play by this magical grandmother willow tree making potions out of the dirt, we would play dress-up with my mothers many, many trunks of fun dress-up clothes and create entire world’s in which we were high-schoolers, school teachers, or fight over who was the Blonde Spice Girl. Looking back, my desire for laughs were definitely used as something to stand behind.
I only remember his first name Timmy. Timmy was a couple years younger than us, and a small for his size type of kid with big teeth. We called him Timmy the Tooth, and we were relentless. I remember we would play hide and seek with Timmy, and we’d call out his name on the soccer field, searching for Timmy the Tooth. We chased him chanting this name. When he would hear us he would run away with his hands over his ears. The weird thing is I remember genuinely liking Timmy, and thinking that Timmy must like the attention of the older girls. Cleary I was justifying my behavior to myself. As an adult I still don’t think I was aware I was torturing him, and I know I owe Timmy an apology. I hide behind my desire to laugh, to make others laugh at your expense. I hid behind my own comfortability with who I was by picking on you, mocking you, and trying to make others laugh because it felt good to make others laugh. I’m sorry Timmy. I’m deeply sorry for leaning on hate in every way.
I’d like to think I’m a good person today. Someone who stands up for what she believes in, someone who stands up for others, who supports, heals and helps others however I possibly can. I know this doesn’t erase the ways in which I acted as a kid, but I do know that this is where we learn how to choose love over hate. I do know this is what I can teach my children, and maybe one day they will be braver than I was and stand up for value, for kindness and for what is right. I know that we can get really lost along the way and the only thing to do is to keep trying to right it, to right ourselves.