Words of Encouragement to Help You Let Go of the Past

Kerry Fantelli
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When I was a little girl, I so loved the book “The Secret Garden.” Just the title sent shivers down my spine. A secret? A garden? A secret garden?? I lost myself in that magical book. The thrills continued with every turn of every page. A secret door covered with ivy and moss. One that had to be peeled away by small hands, fingers. Only to find a land of peace and beauty beyond it?
 
What paradise! What nirvana! I too escaped at that age. My backyard extended into large cornfields. A maze I got lost inside of. Beyond that, cherry trees. Beyond that, woods. Acres of trees and a private pond that no one knew of. I would get lost back there.
 
My own secret garden.
 
I read something recently that got me thinking of this book. It said the books that we were drawn to as children depict some kind of want within us. Some kind of desire. Why do I ache even to this day for a secret paradise and a magical door that will lead me there?
 
Lately I have been going through a transformation. Doing a lot of work on my wounds. I see now that this door to the garden is my mind and the garden, my heart. And the secret key has been me all of these years. A secret even to myself.

The books that we were drawn to as children depict some kind of want within us.

My hopes for the years to come is that of pure, delightful discovery of what lies within me. My heart, resting in my chest. Beating away all of those hard parts of me. Sending healing blood to the sore spots that have kept me from realizing my garden is lush and beautiful all year round.
 
The gardener we need is us. Dirty hands, sweaty brow, on our knees, planting, digging up old roots so weeds won’t grow back. Sprinkling love so that beauty flourishes. It has been within us this whole time.
 
Sure, we could lament. Throw our shovels down and wail how hard this labor is. How much easier it would be if only we had discovered this sooner or when the ground was supple. Neglect over time has allowed a lot of overgrowth of other things that mask and block the purity that lies beneath. We could stomp our feet in frustration as the ground is frozen now and very, very hard to loosen.
 
I could give up. I could go back to old ways of being that seem like home to me. Old patterns and habits that have kept me from myself and others, for many years. I could do all these things, but I won’t.
 

 
I will allow the warmth of my breath, the stillness of my seat, the salt of my tears, to soften all those parts of me that require extra work, love and attention. I see now. It is my time. This year will be all about my secret garden. It will be a gentle removal of hurtful times to expose an ornate door and then a slow opening of the door to expose all that I am.
 
You should do the same.
 
It will hard at times. You may feel like slamming the door. The winds of your past will threaten to shut it as well. But I will brace myself. You will brace yourself.
 
Firmly, I will stand and not allow the door to close again. It is open now, and my secrets are meant to be shared. Fearless, I will write them out, speak them aloud. Share them with others who may have also treasured the book “The Secret Garden” as a child.
 
The door to the garden is your mind and the garden, your heart. And the secret key has been YOU all of these years. It is your time. This year can be all about your secret garden. It can be a gentle removal of hurtful times to expose an ornate door, and then a slow opening of that door to expose all that you are.
 

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Kerry Fantelli

Kerry Fantelli is a medical professional, yoga practitioner, and instructor. Recently, Kerry has been reading her writing after her yoga classes and also has shared poems with her patients that she hopes may find solace in her words. She is a healer and loves to write with the theme of helping, easing, and understanding emotions. She lives in Burlington, Vermont with her beautiful daughter, Thabitha, who is a source of constant inspiration.

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