You know that cliché, “It hit me like a rock”?
That happened to me last year. And among all the amazing, wonderful, beautiful moments and people that surrounded me, I had a hard time getting over the sudden, startling change in my life.
I kept looking back, reliving the moment, the words that were said and unsaid. Overanalyzing, asking the same questions in my mind over and over and over and over again and expecting an answer that was never going to come. It shook my confidence, broke my trust, and left me staggering.
Stumbling over the past kept me from finding sure footing in the present. Sometimes it still does. Yesterday it was a phone call that that brought it all back. Dammit, I thought I was past this.
Don’t we all do this sometimes?
Sometime it’s a grating tiny pebble in your shoe that keeps you off balance until you remove it. Sometimes it’s a chunk of broken concrete that trips us, sending us crashing to the ground. It hurts, but we get up and limp for a bit before regaining our full stride.
And sometimes it’s a boulder barreling full speed that smashes into us, flattening us, leaving us battered and broken.
I have always thought of myself as an optimist, and I still do. I am grateful for those who let me lean on them, whose laughter and love and belief in me kept me upright. I embrace the opportunities this abrupt change presents. And yet, pieces of that blasted boulder still break off and hit me in the back, causing me to look over my shoulder and trip over the past.
We all carry an unavoidable load of loss and pain that can weigh us down, slowing our steps. Looking back is good. Remembering, and grieving, can be healing and cathartic. Stumbling over what’s behind me is not productive.
The road ahead leads me to beautiful new places, full of possibility — and inevitably, a few cracks in the pavement along the way that have the potential to cause another spill.
There will always be missteps, times we wish we could go back and start over or change what happened.
And when we can’t, we must face forward and skip over the stones that appear in our path.