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The Path Forward

I must love the analogy of a road.

Stretching out in the horizon. The path beyond seeing. The unknown just waiting for me to arrive to its party. Characters awaiting backstage to act out their best performance.

Then hiding behind the curtain to see my reaction. Everyone wants a show. The sparkly draw of drama, anger in its raw-est form. The ego on full display. Pain with lots of tears. The journalists love a pained heart. To bring out emotion from a torn soul makes for a great story that leaves people angry and quickly searching for who’s to blame. Then there’s the empty souls who are jealous of what passion is evoked out of this pain. How could someone care so much about anything? They shake their head in bewilderment, as they go back to their monotone life, not realizing that their bewilderment is their passion. They are playing out their part perfectly. The neutral, apathetic but always in control stagehand.

Everywhere I go I take a picture of roads.

It must mean I’m leaving all the stress and worry of the past behind.

It must mean that I have hope.

Hope in humanity. Hope in Love. Hope that someday I’ll get to a place where my hurt heart is settled on a comfy soft pillow and resting in bliss that today it will be alright. Today there won’t be any “what- ifs” or “what was’s”. That today I won’t ruminate on the past. Of loss, lost memories, people, places that tear at heartstrings.

Rarely have I taken a picture in my rear-view mirror. So why does my brain live there? 

Why do I insist on dwelling on what I don’t have? As a mom of little toddlers, if I gave them a treat or a toy and they threw it on the ground in a fit of whiney anger, did I keep giving them more to to try to appease them?

Maybe.

Once or twice. But soon I realized that they would never be happy with anything until I fixed the real problem.

Are you hungry? Sad? Tired?

Until WE fix what is bothering us right now, we can never be at peace.

“But!” you plead, “it’s not ME! If only xyz would do xyz THEN I could be happy.” Logically we know we can’t control another. Logically we know we are being puppets to their story. We are acting out as the victim, then the villain, then the hero. We want to be the star of our own story. We want to wrap up the ending with “and they lived happily ever after”.

God how we want that!!! Our heart soars at the possibility of that happening. The human Spirit in action. The human spirit of survival. It’s what kept little babies alive when supposedly they were born and mom couldn’t take care of them they could follow the Linea nigra: a dark line stretching from the top of the pubic hair to the belly button, sometimes extending to the breast, so babies could find the milk filled nipples.

Holly Clark/Stocksy

Might be an old wives tail but maybe the road in all my pictures represent a linea nigra. My lifeline to HOPE.

I once asked an elderly housekeeper in the hospital where I worked what it was that got her up everyday. She had loads of energy and never complained. She told me, “It’s the curiosity of what each new day bring”. Wow. How can I be that willing? That curious? How can I forge- forward without fear?

Right now I’m at the crest of the hill. The very farthest point you can see in the picture. I’m hopeful. Nervous curious. Wanting. Craving peace. That peace is different for everyone. It might be a problem solved. A Love resolved. A bill paid off. Or it might be coming to terms with what is.

Here’s my collection of What if’s. My roads to hope. Followed by Jack Canfield’s advice to keep being present as life unfolds.

JACK CANFIELD

Think of a car driving through the night. The headlights only
go a hundred to two hundred feet forward, and you can make
it all the way from California to New York driving through
the dark, because all you have to see is the next two hundred
feet. And that's how life tends to unfold before us. If we just
trust that the next two hundred feet will unfold after that,
and the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, your
life will keep unfolding. And it will eventually get you to
the destination of whatever it is you truly want, because you
want it.

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