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Rebuilding from the rubble

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Since I can remember, there has been a fear embedded deep within me. This fear drove every thought. Every decision. Every movement. Every attempt to reach out and every pullback.

Every day it reminded me that I didn't know what was waiting ahead. What was going to jump out, and what was going to tear me apart?

I lived with this inner fear and outer smile. I felt this knowing that sharing the intimate details of who I am and what I feared, thought, and wished for was strictly forbidden. I feared never being understood and berated further by those I so deeply wanted to fall into.

I needed tenderness and was faced with hard lessons and even harsher words. Being told I was broken by those who were supposed to fix me. Being told I was unwanted by those who were supposed to love me. Being told I was worthless by those who were supposed to teach me.

I lived in mental torment, contemplating the purpose of my existence, trying to understand what I did wrong. What was it I needed to do to fix where I went wrong?

My fear became augmented with the desire to please but never truly being able to. As I piled on the responsibility for the things that were truly out of my control, I buckled under its tormenting weight.

I had finally hit my low!

I was faced with a jarring decision. I needed to make a choice. I needed to either continue down this dark path that led only to a dead end or choose to dissect what I thought was a sound structure of beliefs I created. It was either the end of where this road could take me or the beginning of a new one that wouldn't be easy at first but had the potential to lead to a brighter path than I ever could have imagined.

This new road would be filled with cut ties and lost friendships and family. It would hold great seclusion to ensure my walls were entirely crumbled so that they could slowly be rebuilt brick by painful brick. I needed to do the hard labor. I needed to figure out what was important to me. What mattered and what needed to go.

The files of my mind needed to be emptied and reassessed for what was truly important and what needed to be shredded after being acknowledged with thanks for the growth it provided. Needing to send out those mental letters letting everyone know that they had been forgiven, for once I could sit and recognize their path; how could I have expected anything different from them?

I wished them all well and continued to rebuild. As my tower grew in size, so did the understanding that I was the only one who truly needed to love me. Others are simply a beautiful complement to this path, and I may have to keep walking past them as I continue to rebuild the walls of my tower and climb its stairs.

My worth, deemed too low for consideration, was being reassessed and determined by me, and I alone. The thoughts I allowed to fill my mental filing cabinets were carefully selected.

I was re-evaluating the bricks that had crumbled in my hands from the past.

I needed to see that the only true teacher I have is myself.

I needed to understand that I chose whose words to take on and whose guidance to follow.

I was responsible for the old tower of hurt that was now in a mess of broken pieces at my feet.

I needed to find myself! And as I continue to work on recreating my tower, I get to decide where the windows will be and where the solid walls will go.

What views will I see out my windows, and what ones will I graciously acknowledge but build past?

It is always a work in progress, but as my tower grows taller, it also grows stronger than ever. When I need to reassess a section, I do it with kindness and a gentle approach.

I'm new to this construction. I'm new to this journey. I may fall along the way and miss measure, but I know now that I will always have the best company one would ever need.

I'm finally finding that person who was lost long ago.

I will continue the work and make sure I also take my seat in front of that beautiful view of a path I walked once upon a time. I will smile, knowing I may have tripped over rocks and roots, but it didn't break me. It allowed me to become this fantastic master builder of my tower with new and even more beautiful moments and people to help me enjoy it.

With each brick and added step, I will learn to love and give love. I will be joyously me!

Theresa Porter

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