Hero Child

Biography Barbara Rogers
Foreword: A Hero Child
Chapter 1
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the mountain or—changing perspective
written in Chicago, January 2001

I am looking at a mountain—it reminds me of my mother
for most of my life I have looked at my mother
as if I was cursed to remain at the bottom of a mountain
with a confined, limited perspective

from the bottom, the mountain is domineering
blocking out the view of the world and life around me

getting to know my Self has become like climbing a mountain

from the bottom I look up
I look at my mother with compassion
I look at her in the way she wants me to
I look at her as if I were her therapist

at the bottom of the mountain
I feel and have always felt forced to forgive my mother
to pity her
to ignore how she was—and is—treating me
to numb and deaden the suffering she causes me
to deny my own pain—to ignore reality and the truth

at the top of the mountain I have a wider view
I can see further

I see my mother from a different perspective
as I experience for the first time compassion for myself

I have to recognize the truth
I see a woman who does not love me
who does not take joy in my being
who does not care about my existence
who has no interest in my life
who does not desire to get together with me
after she has not seen me for thirteen years

I have to see the truth—although I don't want to
my mother does not love me
my mother cannot love who I am
because I am the living proof
that life is about other things than those
that she believes in, lives by and practices

I am crushed by the truth
I feel the ground crumble beneath my feet
and my existence threatened

the truth hurts—but liberates me
I have escaped her jail

freed from the gravest impediment that kept me from being alive
I become the bird and fly away from the mountain

from now on my own welfare matters
my needs count

I cannot be alive without love
just as air gives life to my body—love is the breath for my soul

my soul would die if I stayed near this mountain

now that I know and can bear the truth
I leave the mountain
I am free to be Barbara
to be my Self


© Barbara Rogers

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