Once, when the tortoises were small, my husband and I put a parsley plant in their space. The idea was for them to nibble at their leisure.
A (very!) short time later, we were greeted by two very full and happy tortoises . . . and a bunch of sad looking stems.
Much like that first imagined scenario, I've had a problem nibbling at me for years. It's affected everything in my life, from my confidence to my writing. It's insidious and subtle and left me doubting myself, blaming myself. But like the actual scenario, I've recently been torn down and ripped up. I'm like those stems - limp, exhausted, exposed. It's scary, but now I have clarity. It's not my fault. I'm not crazy. I can finally see what's been happening, and what I can do about it.
To paraphrase Maya Angelou – When you know better, you do better. Just like my husband and I now know to keep the parsley plant away from cute (but greedy!) tortoises, we also now know to keep ourselves away, as much as possible anyway, from negative and toxic influences. It won't be easy but with careful tending, a new plant - and a renewed passion for creativity and writing – will grow, healthy and strong and thriving!
(Side note: The Summer of George is not going very well, but I haven't given up! There is still a lot of summer left!)
Have you ever experienced that moment of clarity, that relief it wasn't you, it wasn't all in your head? Any suggestions for self-care and building back self-esteem? How's your summer going?