I let go of the cradle I lay in as a baby. My second half-brother texted me: “You should know that your mother will throw the cradle away this evening. If you want to have it, I will ask my brother to put it in front of your door.” See, there’s more in these two sentences then you could possibly imagine at first. And practically speaking, I literally and symbolically look down on the street where I grew up in, so putting this bed in front of my door would be a simple effort.
I always said I wanted to have that old fashioned white wooden cradle for my own child, mostly because I have parts of me that are still pretty traditional. Giving something from one generation to the next is an example of that. It turned out that due to this one-of-a-kind youth of mine, including child abuse and the long term implications such as anxiety and perfectionism, I had to let go of a lot.
Yes, also the wish of a biological child, even if that does not make sense at all. Even if not having a biological child is medically fairly questionable with current and near-future healthtech possibilities. The setting and timing however, weren’t right, so I let go.
And maybe the hardest, but most phenomenally gracious one of all: rejection.
And I smile some more
See, my second half-brother and I don’t really talk. We were never close, had different lifestyles and beliefs and were dealing with our own survival / winning paths. Histories were kept from me for 14 years, poor choices were made, relations were complicated and destructive and triggers had to be and will be avoided at all cause. I do understand any dysfunction. Who on earth could understand better? I might get a lawyer after me for writing this, but see, my fear’s long gone and I smile. I am able to laugh and see the good. And I smile some more. This time, my second half-brother did make an effort by contacting me because he knew I wanted to have something out of the house I grew up in. This time, he surprised, validated and respected me by asking about the cradle, which led to a somewhat decent conversation about life and forgiveness, in just a couple of text messages going back and forth.
Who do we want to grow into?
Real wellness, including healing, starts with awareness on how we connect to others, how we contribute and how congruent we are. Thus, are we just when it comes to the dedication of becoming the best version of ourselves? We look at what areas and parts of ourselves were neglected. We try to appreciate what we have as much as possible. We stay away from closed-minded and poisonous relationships. Most of all, we seek constant clarity on where we are at and who we want to be in the situation. Who do we want to grow into? My growth for the coming period expressed in words would be discipline, balance, proactivity and accountability, all of which were strong for years, but left me for quite some time because of a whole lot of overwhelm. Another concrete area of growth would be to set and keep healthy boundaries and to fully express who I am, so to never allow anyone to tell me who to be ever again. Wellness means using everything to become a better human and to never have an excuse anymore.
My gut instinct immediately indicated: let the cradle go, but would I regret not taking it? I texted my ex-husband, best friend and person who used to know me best. “Let the past rest and focus on the future. I get the sentimental value, but it gives you another opportunity to let go,” he said. I knew he just put into words what I felt. My ‘sisters’, including my sister on my father’s side, applauded my decision. See, the cradle doesn’t represent me and who I will be. Letting go hurt for exactly two minutes and then came the overflow of relief, freedom and peace. Letting go was a service, because maybe someday, there will be a baby deserving a brand new cradle.