Fighting ghostsLetting go of hurt to embrace love.

We are all products of our environment. But we are also victims of our past. Regardless if we remove ourselves from that which influences us, we cannot unlearn what we have been taught. The only thing we can physically control is the choice to allow negative experiences to take over our lives.

When I was eleven I was molested by a family friend. To this day I can smell his stench on the tip of my nose and I have yet to be able to forget the white of his sister’s eyes as she watched what happened and later claimed to have never seen it. My mother has never been able to understand why I cannot let this experience go. I too have often questioned why I cannot forget one night that she has managed to so easily buried. But remember we don’t unlearn what we have been taught. That night I was taught that evil exists.

I am now in my thirties. I still have nightmares that shake my being. I am still haunted by the panic I felt when I barricaded myself in the room until someone came to save me and I have not forgotten his mother telling me that it was my fault because I didn’t lock my door. I must warn anyone that I am intimate with to never try and fondle me while I sleep and to simply hold me when I wake up screaming. However, I am extremely sensual. Nothing calls out to my soul than a touch of another. And I trust in my partner to protect me from the darkness.

So what does this all mean for you?

In life we will be hurt, we will have our trust taken for granted, and we will be wronged. But we will also be loved. We will experience a first with someone that will make us swoon. And we will have pressed our beings against the beauty of happiness on more than one occasion. These are the memories that we must hold on to and allow to fertilize our hearts so that we are able to continuously love.

But there is a catch. Sometimes we are negatively affected by past experiences that embed a seed that will grow to ruin everything we try to love. Many times we are unaware that we are incomplete because of a ghost that lurks in our subconscious. The void that exists within us is because pieces of our soul are left in a nightmare that happened many years ago.

To hold your partner responsible for something that happened in the past will do nothing more but keep you far apart from ever truly loving them. Sure you will have good moments but you will never be able to truly receive the love that they offer.

So how do you fix this?

First, you must recognize that there is a problem, to begin with. Do you ever find that you are angry for no apparent reason? Do you mistrust every kind of gesture or constantly look for an ulterior motive in good deeds? Do you cry when no one is around or find it hard to accept happiness in moments that others would welcome with open arms? Does the void within you feel like a bottomless pit? If you answer yes to either of these questions, it may be time to do some soul searching.

I am not an expert, but I have allowed past pain to ruin relationships and I have been with women who allowed prior unpleasantries to destroy something we were trying to build. If you have come to the point where you recognize the problem then it is also time for you to fix it. And if you love someone who exhibits this pattern, it is time to take them by the hand and convey to them that there is a problem.

I have often gotten angry with my inability to chase ghosts. But the truth is that you can’t fix someone else, nor can you expect someone else to fix you. However, you can love passionately. You can choose to take a chance without expectations. You can trust your lover to not break your heart. And you can take a stand against the possibility of a relationship ending badly by taking a chance on the possibility of living happily ever after.