Sunday, February 20, 2011

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Lao Tsu

One step, that is it, just one step, pick your foot up, move it slightly forward and place it down. It is not that hard, right? It is just a single step and that step leads to another and another and another, right? And then your journey has begun. We take steps everyday without even ever really thinking about what we are doing.
But what happens when that first step is hard. Or when that first step leads you to stumble and maybe even fall? Or when that "step" is more of a crawl. What happens when all you see in front of you is darkness? How do you take a step then? How do you begin a journey that scares you because the end is no where in sight? Or while you may have a vision of the end, the road to getting there seems impassable.
You trust in God, right? But what if the place you are in at the moment leaves you without trust? What if in the darkness you can't feel God? What if the fall from taking that first step leaves you questioning?
I have three friends who are all on their own journey at this moment. Each of them facing their own difficulties, their own struggles, their own darkness. They are taking steps. And I know that at times each of them has felt or is feeling more like they are crawling and maybe for today, they are, but it is forward progression. They are each entering their journey at different places. They each have different struggles to overcome, different paths to travel, but all have the same vision to reach for at the end...self. Their own self, whole, healed, happy.
The journey can be long and at times feel endless and maybe even feel futile. I know the road can be dark, and steep. It can feel like as soon as you get a little light to help guide you, a gust of wind comes and blows the light out again, like you are forever climbing and searching for a time that the path is flat. I am honored to be walking some of their journey with them. I am proud of their courage and their determination.
This is a journey that I know well. I have come a considerable distance in my journey. And when I look back at that first tumbling step I realize my first step was not a step at all, it was a crawl, a reaching out of my hand for anything in front of me and dragging myself forward. I crawled, walked, stumbled, fell, slid backwards searched for any hand hold. I looked for light in the darkness, I searched for anyone who could give me that light, only to finally discover I had to have the light myself before anyone could truly help me light the way. Now, most days I walk upright and proud, the path is lit. Sometimes the sun hides behind a cloud or a tree but mostly it is sunny. The view is beautiful and I am in awe of where the path has taken me.

Looking back at my journey I can see the people who walked with me. Some of them are still walking with me and I am so blessed, so amazed at the love they have for me then and now. Some friends are not walking with me anymore. Our paths have split, there are no hard feelings or anger just a parting of ways. But I also can look back and see that there are people I hurt on my journey and for that I am sorry. We have parted ways not in the best of terms and likely with some hurt feelings. I guess that is the way though, not that I am excusing it, for never would it have been my intention to hurt someone, anyone. But as my journey continued and I got a firm grasp of ME, I guess hurt happens, I can only hope and pray that those I hurt know how much I am deeply sorry for that pain and yet maybe see what an invaluable part they played in my life . Would I change the hurt, absolutely. Would I change who I have become, absolutely not. I am grateful for every person that walked on this journey with me and value the role they have been in my life.
I also look at the path and see the new friends that have joined me along the way and I can't help but smile. There are many new friends, some of whom I get to be the friend as they now walk their path. I plan on being at the other end of their journey still walking with them. I found my son on this journey and see how my healing has allowed me to be the best mom for him. But it also will allow me to walk him through that first step to his healing when it is time.
And now at this stage of the journey I am reconnecting with people I had to part with for a time. I am coming to them now as a much better me. I am hopeful for the friendship I can offer and maybe even the example I can be to them.
I am sure in reality I have more than 3 friends who are making their journey to self and I know of a few who are standing looking at the path, seeing the periods of darkness and worried to take the first step, afraid of falling or the hurts that will happen. All I can say to all of them is, know you are loved, by me and many others. That while the path may be dark at times and you may not feel my hand, it is there. When you find the light you will see me there. Waiting to continue walking with you. I believe in you, as you and others have believed in me.
Thank you to the many that walked my journey, may I use it to help others. May I be a source of strength in times that are hard. But mostly may I continue to grow and be an example. I wait for what the next step of my life brings to me and my son. He is a joy, he is a light. He is truly an inspiration to continue my journey.

May I always have this much excitement as I start the next path!


Jennifer said...

Ok, really weird. Today is a "gusty" day and as I left my house I thought, "I just need to read a blog that will make me cry." Then when I walked into my office and sat down I thought, "I just really need to hear Jenn's voice today." And then I read your blog. :-)

Jennifer said...

Even "funnier." I just read this: