This post is Grassroots, meaning a reader posted it directly. If you see an issue with it, contact an editor.
If you’d like to post a Grassroots post, click here!

February 16, 2021

Trophies or Participation Ribbons

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.

In this moment I am typing simply out the necessity to type something. I am sitting in front of my screen, literally distracted by the smoke from my furnace pumping out my window. I am in a moment of deep resistance.

I don’t know why, or what to, but it’s as though my brain has just shut down. Actually, more than shut down. The exact opposite. I have so many thoughts swirling that there is no cohesion. I begin on one train and jump track to the train moving in the opposite direction, then back to the first but further down the track or back to the beginning of that train and the cycle repeats. There’s no sense of processing, fruit or completion. It’s a mess and chaotic.

The more I try to slow it down, the faster it seems to pick up the pace. And “to do’s” start popping up like road signs, only I’m hanging out the train car and hitting my head on every one causing me to immediately forget the task and speed on to the next dizzying set of thoughts.

I go from talking to myself now, to my younger self, to those that I have unsaid emotions towards and on to those embarrassing interactions you wish would get swept up into some sort of fire disposal from your long-term memory.

Why are those the thoughts I choose to store for so long? Why do I fill my mental space with trinkets I’d rather not see again, and probably never liked in the first place?

They were given to me. And I feel some sense of obligation to hold them still?

I wish I could right it? Even though it wouldn’t change the outcome, nor would I want it to.

I didn’t love the process of getting to where I am today but love who I am today. I couldn’t say that in the recess of these intruding memories and thoughts. I hold on to these things that shaped me like cursed ribbons of shame, hanging everywhere, that I try to cover with wallpaper, yet they bulge. They don’t hide well. In fact, they can’t be hidden at all.

Nor should they be?

Nor should they be.

I walked through every experience with the best of the tools I had in that moment. I stepped in, I embraced, I surrendered, I fought, I strived for the ideal and waited in the burning. Every step of the way, I did my best with what I had. The problem was these trinkets. These ideals, belief systems, labels and titles that I was given, chose to accept and then keep. I put them on display like great trophies while I tried to hide the ribbons of trial, adversity, heartache and loss. These trophies are empty.

They are light, no weight, no clout, no substance and get knocked over with the lightest of breezes. I dust them off with my tears and place them back on the shelves. Hollow. Barren.

But these ribbons. Each one has a part of me. Before they were stuck to the wall and covered with wallpaper in the color of shame, they were pinned to my heart. Through my flesh and dripping with my very essence. They pierced my soul and shaped my inner being. These bad boys of mere participatory ribbons mean I lived life. I showed up. I put my heart on the line. I chose hope when it seemed there was none. I exhausted every avenue and sat in every emotion, conversation and utter silence. Every part of me was present even when it consumed me in flames.

I’ve let the trophies fall. I didn’t dust them off. I grabbed the largest garbage bag I could find and filled them with the trophies that shimmered in the light yet blew away in the storm. The trinkets that clouded my focus, stole precious energy and fooled everyone around me are gone.

I feel free. I feel new. I feel at peace. I feel whole. The air is fresh and I can breathe.

I don’t want trophies. I want more ribbons. I want more moments, risks, failures and victories.

I’m taking down the wallpaper now. I want to proudly display the ribbons connected to the pins that penetrated my walls and exposed my true being.

I hope it will help others to do the same.

Sometimes, I discover ribbons I forgot about. The wound caused by these still bleed and need care and healing.

It’s a long process. It’s a hard process. I am present in it all. Collecting more ribbons.

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Stacey Morrison  |  Contribution: 2,440