Like many others I had a childhood that was filled with experiences and violence no child should endure. From a very early age I sat and wondered what my purpose in life was beyond the fear of what might happen next. I cannot explain it but I felt it deep within that I was meant to be for a reason greater than myself.
I was also very aware from an early age that I wanted so much to be a mother one day. I knew that a great part of the healing I needed to overcome what had been taken from me would come when I was able to give the childhood I had longed for to a child of my own. I have since been twice blessed with a daughter followed by a son. The following poem was written not long after I had my baby daughter:
Again as a child
I take my first breath and see the world in blurry wonder. I feel the safety of a first embrace that will surround me my entire life.
Again as a child i am nourished and cradled in a way that i had never known.
Again as a child this time I am safe within the love of one who heals me without even knowing how.
Again as a child I grow and seek the answers I crave never imagining there is not hope for an answer
Again as a child I see the magic of all that is possible and can believe it will all come to life.
Again as a child I can feel the safety of a world that is just and undisturbed by the harshness of the world outside.
Again as a child I am carefree and unashamed of who I am.
Again as a child I am encouraged to follow my heart and to live true to the person I will become.
Again as a child this time I am unafraid and it is because of you my darling little one.
The experiences we have as children are ones that will shape us in one fashion or another. There are the lessons we can emulate and that will keep us from living the life we could have. There are the lessons we learn to do the exact opposite of that will give us a fighting chance to find our way.
When it comes to the work we do it is important to remember that we are all working with what we have and usually doing the best we can. There are some who are still so filled with blame and anger and may seem unreachable. However, within us all there is a moment when we can become something greater and give ourselves a chance to be courageous enough to seek freedom from the pain of our pasts.
I see where I am extremely lucky to have the magic given to me in my children. They have allowed me to reclaim a piece of the innocence and wonder that was lost to me in my own childhood. As much as I may ever do or give them I am not sure if I will ever be able to match the gifts I have received. All I can do is work my best to help others to find their way to heal.
Nicole Michaud is a Counselor in training in Central Connecticut. She is also the voice behind the cooking Blog MyLoveForCooking.com