We had ice storms here this past week. 9 days straight of cloudy, rainy days. Several days trapped in the house because the roads were iced over and it didn’t seem safe to drive. Everything was closed anyway.
It gave me a lot of time to think. About the life I’ve created for myself. About where I’m going and where I’ve been.
Ten years ago.... No, scratch that. Five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined my life as it is now. Ten years ago I couldn’t have imagined liking myself the way I do or feeling self-confident and knowing anywhere I go I can make friends.
I’ve lost some friends along the way. That’s always hard no matter what the circumstances may have been. I know, though, they were part of my life for as long as they were meant to be there and I’m grateful for that. Some friendships have changed, evolved into new dynamics. Some friendships are as strong as ever. And I have friends I couldn’t have imagined having ten years ago.
We didn’t lose power during the storms and so I was able to stay in touch with friends all across the country. I was able to share in their lives and let them know what was going on with mine. Ten years ago I couldn’t have imagined having this kind of network.
The ice storms are over now and odds are, where I am, we won’t have another one this winter. I’m grateful though for the time to stop and think and count my blessings. Maybe the biggest blessing is that I’ve gone from someone who always believed things would go wrong to someone who knows everything will be all right. I cannot express to all of you what a profound change that is!
I look back sometimes and it’s as if another person was living my life for all those years and my heart breaks that she had to be so unhappy for so long. But I know, too, that that was part of my journey, part of becoming who I am and who I will be. I know that if I could have changed sooner, I would have done so. These days I’m able to let myself be who I was and who I am and not judge myself against a standard of anyone else.
I wish there were more sunshine here now but I know it will come again. That’s a powerful metaphor for how I feel about my life these days as well. Even when something goes wrong, I know, deep down with the same certainty that things will be all right, that I will find a way to make them all right again.
I don’t often write about dark moments because I believe that as Anthony Robbins says: What we focus on becomes our reality. And yet I also believe there is value in stopping sometimes to see how far I’ve come, to acknowledge the depths of unhappiness I once knew so that I can more fully appreciate where I am now. It is also a reminder, when we look back, of the strength and resilience and courage and creativity it took to make changes in our lives.
When you look back, what changes do you see? Do you have a list of things you have accomplished in your life—big and small? Learning to walk. Learning to talk. Learning to read and write. These things matter because they are proof that we are capable of learning. Everything on your list is proof YOU can change and grow and work to create a better life.
I hope that wherever you are, you are safe and warm. I hope that on days when you find yourself unable to go out because of the weather, you are able to look back and recognize how far you’ve come.
Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),