I was on the phone this week talking to one of my dearest dearest friends, who lives in another state….we were talking about a conversation we had a few months ago that made her mad……..she was telling me NOW that it made her mad then, but what she didn’t know was that I already knew that…….and it was one of those conversations that you HATE having anyway, but you just do, because it is important. Now…this was not drama, or scandal, or anger….it was just me telling her something that I had learned, something that I didn’t want to learn, but had….I just told her that sometimes you go one step forward, and then something happens, and you go two steps back. She had called to tell me how excited she was that something VERY HUGE, a REALLY BIG TRAUMA in her family’s life, had been completely resolved….that it was finally over. I told her that maybe she should brace herself for a setback, just in case, prepare mentally…and that it was TOTALLY o.k. if that happened, because it was just part of the deal sometimes, and that it didn’t mean failure, it didn’t mean progress was not being made…..but that sometimes, it was just part of the process. She told me she was mad at me for saying that back then……but she called this week to tell me that the “two steps back” thing had happened, and that she was pretty devastated.
My 14 year old daughter saw that little orange sign up there in my studio, picked it up and read it and said…”that is the truest quote I have ever read…” When does life start feeling so confusing??? Well, sometimes it just is downright confusing. Let me tell you what I have learned about the way we are always wanting to be moving forward so fast….but that sometimes the most important thing we can do, sometimes the ONLY THING WE CAN DO is to just FACE the direction that we want to go….whether it feels like we are moving very fast or not…whether it feels like we are going forward or backward….just FACE the direction we want to go, and keep moving moving moving in that direction, even if it’s only with our hearts and minds….
I have learned, and continue to learn every day, that if I can just do this ONE THING, I will be ok. No matter what happens, as long as I am staying focused on where I want to be, on the end goal….that I have to just trust the journey that is going to take me there. Sometimes the journey is SO MADDENING. SO CONFUSING….I mean…how can you possibly call it progress if it feels like you are going back to where you started to begin with…or maybe even FURTHER back? Well….I don’t know a fraction of the reasons or explanations for this…but I do know a few of them…from experience….can I just tell you some things I know for absolutely, positively SURE? (p.s….there’s fifty jillion things I don’t know, but I do know a few things from experience)
I want to tell you why I know this is important. Take a look at my beloved green boots…..my best pals for years and years and years…..never let me down. Carried me through so much stuff that I’m surprised they are still kickin’. What I want you to notice is how worn out the heels are….they are so worn out because of the miles and miles and miles and miles that THEY HAVE WALKED BACKWARDS.
Sheeeesh, I have fallen on my face so many times….skinned my knees, and my elbows….gotten fat lips and road rash. I have had to go backward SOOOO MANY TIMES. But the minute I decided to walk backwards, facing forward, rather than turning my whole body around, with my BACK TO THE PLACE I WANTED BE, everything changed. Sometimes I still have to remind myself to keep my “face to the place” because when life inevitably sends me two steps backward when I have only managed to go one step forward, it sure doesn’t feel good….and I am tempted to turn my back on the good stuff and turn around and yell at the past……….as long as we are facing TODAY and facing TOMORROW…..we are not stuck in the past…and WE ARE MOVING FORWARD.
When I think about this, the first thing that comes to mind is in 2006 when I was ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY 100% sure that my husband was recovered. Because I came home from a business trip, and there he was…HIM. I was sure he was back. It lasted 10 or 12 days and then he crashed back to the horrible place he had been for 2 years, in some ways…even worse. It felt so cruel…like such a setback. But…then I did a lot of research over the next years, and realized that this is exactly how brain injury recovery goes. THIS IS HOW SO MUCH OF LIFE GOES. It seems like it should all keep getting better and better….but sometimes life has to go through weird and confusing dark forests on it’s way to where it’s going…and there’s no other route to get there. I wrote this blog post….almost EXACTLY 4 years ago when I thought it REALLY WAS OVER. I was so embarrassed…bitter, sad, CONFUSED, and felt SO FORGOTTEN when things actually went downhill again after this. Things did not get better for more than 3 YEARS AFTER THIS!!! Wow, I remember how confused I was. Devastated. Here’s the photo from that blog post…..
Even though I thought things were better, and that they were going to continue to get BETTER AND BETTER, 2006 marked the beginning of the VERY HARDEST, MOST PAINFUL years for us. We lost our business, we lost our home…we lost Marq more and more every day………THEN, things started to get better.
BUT ALL ALONG THINGS REALLY WERE HEADED TO THE BEST PLACE. THE RIGHT PLACE FOR US.…..all along. I just didn’t know it at the time, and it was very very very hard.
Soooo….if you are going through a setback like this…whether it’s financial, or physical, or in a relationship, or mentally or spiritually or creatively. IF YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD ALREADY run through the finish line of this particular journey…and then found yourself MILES from the end…..take heart, little lovelies….it’s all good…it really is. You are so super tough. You are so capable of taking this on. You are so much smarter, stronger and braver than you realize. You are going to see some incredible things come out of that body, mind and soul of yours…….things you never even knew existed. Someday you might even understand why all of this had to happen the way it is happening. Someday, for sure….you will be thankful for all that you learned from it…THIS I know for sure.
I know the road seems long…totally unfair, and downright sucky….but remember, EVERYTHING is on it’s way to somewhere else….everything is temporary. Everything comes into our lives exactly when it’s supposed to, lasts exactly as long as it’s supposed to last, and teaches us exactly what we are supposed to learn. Life is so amazing like that. You can do it…..I dare you.