Don’t Look Back

Many years ago, as I sat in my car bawling after I had just signed my home over to the X…..my friend said to me… “this is just one more thing in your rearview mirror.”

That became my mantra.  It helped me get through many ugly moments in the years after that. When something was coming up that I did not want to do…I thought to myself…”I hope it gets here soon.” Then I can get through it and it can be ‘one more thing in my rear view.’  One more little mountain I had climbed.  And…as, you can guess…when you run head first into the things you are dreading….they lose their power. Big time. You grow strength…because, you have to do it.  And, then what seemed insurmountable, becomes easier.

I am not saying that I or anyone ever gets used to confronting things that are unpleasant. But, I learned, nothing lasts forever..that emotion, feeling, stress, dread, fear….doesn’t last forever.  The anticipation. The Waiting….the hardest part. And, something else unexpected happened.

I was still feeling like I was on a treadmill up that damn mountain….that I was never going to get to the top….I still had mountains to climb.  It was depressing. A friend said to me …. “That is just life, right? There is always something unpleasant around the corner.” Well.  Maybe. I was listening to a friend share her tale of woe (same story, different verse) and she asked me…”when do I get happy like you?”

Hmm…funny.  I was thinking…..before she opened her mouth…how far she had come…instead of crying about never being happy again, she now was asking when happy was going to come.  That is progress.  I reminded her of the way she spoke, her tone of voice, her attitude, everything in the beginning. And then I asked her questions about how she felt now….she feels better than she did in the beginning…..and the middle……so…guess what…she is improving.

Well…you know…like most people I am very good at telling others what they should do with their lives (if you people would only listen!!!!). This time I taught myself something. Every once in awhile, on your journey, your climb….your mountain of hell….turn around.  All the way. Look back at where you were when this all started.  Look at how you felt, what you thought…look at the milestones you got through (1st, 2nd, loudest, smallest, biggest, etc) You have come a long way (Baby….sorry…the 70’s just slipped out).

I realized how many of my friends (and me too…) were concerned with how far they still had to climb. We are told you can’t go back, you can’t live in the past…..some of us wax poetic about the past (another blog)….but, every once in awhile as you slog your way through your struggle…..turn around (bright eyes…OMG…so sorry)

I realized….sometimes…you need to look back (sorry….I tried to resist Don’t Look Back ) to see how far you have come.

I went through fire. I am better now. Way better. And thankful for the experience.