Once Upon A Time...

I remember spending most of my childhood sitting on the third step of our home in Leeds, England. I was 3 years old and I remember those stair moments like they were yesterday because they shaped my whole world. I remember voices as loud as day and I remember the cruel words that my parents threw at each other like shards of glass. My father was in a perpetual state of leaving our family. He threatened it over and over and over again, weekly and with absolute conviction. I remember trying to stifle my tears there on the third step of our home in Leeds and I remember thinking that may world was falling apart. I felt like I was sinking into a hole. And I was scared, so scared I could hardly breath. It was one of the saddest moments of my life and it defined me as a young woman. Eventually it was my mother that ended up leaving and my father became an estranged part of my life. He was an elusive shadow that I would chase for many years to come.

Those feelings of rejection and abandonment have haunted me most of my adult life. They did until the emptiness of those feelings bore a whole so deep that I felt I had no choice but to cut myself free. 

For you see, we all have these stories. Stories that at the time defined us. Defined our world. Defined what we would think about ourselves.  Defined how we would act. But it is just a story. A story that can be rewritten. Rewritten in a way that can wake us up to who we really are and not what we thought we were. They do our best, our caretakers, but sometimes they do not know what we need to be free and what we need to feel love….

Once upon a time, the people who brought us into the world tried to teach us about love.

But what if they didn't truly understand love? What if they had disdain in their minds and lack of forgiveness in their hearts? What if the way we should be living was never shown to us? Then what?

We stumble and fall and are unhappy for a very very long long time. 


Until maybe that one day, a glimpse of love spills open and we see it and feel it as if it was the first time. It etches into our being, into our hearts the way that light cracks into an old dark and dusty attic after years of abandonment. And what if that hint of love makes us wonder to the point where we question everything. The how’s and why’s of every single feeling we have ever had and wonder if we are truly living. 

SO maybe after all is said and done…

My past loneliness was what I needed to encourage togetherness now.

My past anger was what I needed to promote peace today.

My past resentment was what I needed to practice forgiveness today. 

My past hurt was what I need to open up my heart today. 

My past pain was my greatest lesson. 

Francesca Pardini