Like anyone who has been involved in SecondLife longer than a few months and for me being nearly six years, I have a past. It is a colourful mixture of moments that highlight different characters and personalities. All presenting different views that have brought along challenges good and bad.
Some moments I’m proud to have been involved with and willingly put my name to. Experiences have forced me to confront held views and adjust cultural prejudices, allowing me growth and maturity on a real life scale. However there are those other moments I’d like to put into a box, lock it up tight, tie it with an anchor and let it sink to the depths of the ocean to dwell for eternity amongst the fish with no eyes and giant squid.
There are times when you feel that no matter what you do, what changes you make, you are forever bound to be tortured by the actions of your past. You wonder when your mind will finally give you the release you need and let the memories of another time and place fade into insignificance.
Although I have gone about life the past few months with enjoyment there has been a feeling of looked over my shoulder wondering when the impending storm would hit. As the winds whipped at my face there was a feeling that the grip upon the safety rail was barely strong enough to hold me upright let alone allow me to move forward. The sky always clear to those around me for it was an internal battle that raged quietly within. Not a battle of good against evil but one of learning to forgive and letting go of expectations.
Forgiveness is fundamental for growth. When someone does us wrong we know that at some point we must forgive them to release those ties to the past for ourselves. However do we apply this logic of forgiveness to ourselves? We are often our own worse critics, expecting far more of ourselves than others. With the button pressed on repeat we continually play over in our mind the errors of judgement and mistakes made, struggling to give ourselves the green light of forgiveness.
Sometimes it takes a complete stranger to simply ask gently, “Why do you blame yourself?” For when you stare at the answer you realize how unreasonable and somewhat ridiculous it has been for you to have berated yourself for simply making a mistake.
Just like magic, in that single moment of realization the sun breaks through the clouds, the fog clears and you smile as the twang of the last string breaking echos in your ear. A feeling of freedom swells inside and you know it is finally over. The moments of your past are behind you and laying ahead is a future full of promise and potential.
Really living your life means constant learning. Life cannot be taught from a text-book but involves active participation and the taking of risks. We must step outside boundaries that comfort us to explore unfamiliar territory. There will be moments we make wrong decisions or travel a path that brings doubt and emotional upheaval. We are human, not works of perfections. Instead of holding ourselves to such high expectations that we bring ourselves turmoil we should rejoice in our flaws and that we are as we are meant to be … an imperfect work in progress.
NB: The photos for this blog post were taken at my SL sister, Alexa Maravilla’s home sim. Currently open for the public to visit, her Wildlife Sanctuary is a recreation of a Florida swamp complete with alligators and bird life. Whether you sit upon the cafe chairs at the pavilion or wander the board walks I do urge you to take the time to visit such an amazing build that captures the very best of nature.
Alexa Maravilla’s Wildlife Sanctuary – http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ORIGINE/235/66/21