Second Chances

I am being given second chances at everything. Imagine that! Would you like for this to happen to you? It seems that the first time someone asked me to pass the peas, I did as I was told to do. That was on the level of politeness. No one told me that I would be asked to pass the neurosis of the earlier generation down. Nevertheless, I came into automatic collusion with this request.

I have carried the family curse of anxiety most of my life. A sudden panic attack at the age of 13 began a siege of anxiety that is only lately lightening up. And I need to forgive myself for passing things on that never belonged to me.

Now I walk a little straighter and am more relaxed about the persona that goes by the name of “Vicki.” My given name is Vera Camille Key. I wasn’t called that because as my mother told me, “Vera was an awfully grown-up name for such a small child.” But somehow I was given the perfect name. Vera means “true.” And I was born almost too honest for people to bear.

This honesty has served me well, however. It has allowed me to write in such a way that people can hear the message. What message? The message of a human being caught in the net of this world. Most of you know my personal story and I have chosen not to repeat it. These days, second chances are pouring forth from the place where the two oceans meets. Where the human meets the divine and the divine speaks of self-mercy.

And so I forgive myself endlessly for screwing up much of my life. And I relax into the arms of life and drift along with the current.

I am softer and sweeter now than I used to be. Perhaps the fruit is ripening in the orchard of my soul. And it is good.

Vicki Woodyard

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