Picking up dropped stitches
I am off on leave next week and looking forward to a proper rest. While am off I am going to visit family who I haven’t seen for 18 months. I will describe this to people as going home, despite not having lived there for the last 17 years, although when I am there, I will talk about Crewe as home. Going back to the small village I spent my childhood in is always a mixed bag of emotions. While I will love being next to the sea and finally getting to see my grandparents (including eating large helpings of ‘Nanny cake’) it will also be a reminder of how it felt to not quite fit as I grew up.
When we return to places, situations, and relationships from our past, it can be easy to fall back into how (or who) we were at those times; to forget the progress we made. It’s like getting stuck in an old groove that we had worn down and even though it may no longer fit who we are, it can be hard to resist the pull of the familiar way of being, to hold on to the version of ourselves we are now. Often when this happens, we can feel younger versions of ourselves bubbling closer to the surface, bringing with them additional vulnerability and need for compassion. While this can feel difficult, if they bring with them the reminders of tough times, it can also be an opportunity to help them heal.
When I go home, I know there will be an chance to work with that younger version of myself, the one who didn’t know why she didn’t fit in. Because she will be so close to the surface, it will be possible to share the knowledge and understanding that adult me has gained through personal development work and therapy of who I am. If I can resist the pull of those old ways of being I can help younger me move on from the times and places where she may have got stuck. It is like picking up a dropped stitch and integrating it back into the fabric of knitting, although in this case what I am recrafting is myself. Helping all parts of me to know they are valued and have worth, to bring them into the person I am now.
Are there places where you feel old parts of yourself are closer to the surface? What helps you to stay grounded in your current self when you are there?