Taking it in stride.
I’m beginning to learn the difference between getting over and getting through. I’m discovering that some obstacles are meant to be hurdled while others must be dismantled, the pieces shifted to the side of the path or picked up to be useful along the way. Knowing which is which isn’t as simple as when I’m traveling physically as opposed to metaphorically: the roadblock that appears to stretch as far as my mind can reach can be blown away with the gentlest breeze of self-worth, and the smallest rock that I wouldn’t even see gets underfoot just so and takes me down before I know what hit me. I could sidestep the rock, but I’m becoming more and more aware that it will find its way back in front of me before long, and that maybe there’s something I’m meant to take away from that one and I’m just not getting it. Conversely, I often see the vast roadblock and simply despair, not even considering how easily it could be avoided altogether; my actions place these types of obstacles in my path, and they can also remove them.
And that takes practice. All of it does. Recognizing the lies my brain has stored up and prepared especially for those days when I’m extra vulnerable and not being mindful. Realizing the potential for relief from anxiety I have caused myself. Identifying the elements that encourage the kind of thought that has me stumbling rather than striding. So in time, after much practice, maybe fear of rejection will be recognizable only as something from my past, and not something that stops me in my tracks and rattles off all of the reasons I’m not good enough for whatever it is I want. Maybe I’ll learn to relinquish control enough that a fork in the road doesn’t leave me paralyzed with indecision, but rather encourages me to contemplate, make a choice, and see it through. Maybe in all things, I will forgive myself my poor choices and dropped balls and missed turns, and trust that if the other path was the one I was meant to take, it will come back around.
While this train of thought was prompted by my discovery that another candidate will be offered the position I interviewed for a couple of weeks ago, it certainly applies to other aspects of life. I want to travel my paths – career, education, friendships, family, intimate relationships – smoothly, not because the obstacles do not exist, but because I have learned how to take them in stride, either sweeping them away or swooping them up, dismissing their poison or tucking their lesson away.
When past choices stir regret, I’m usually comforted by reminding myself that I have no way of knowing what good things I did experience might have been missed out on if I’d chosen differently. So it’s no use worrying about what might have been and losing what actually was in the process.
Absolutely, David. While I have very few true regrets, I do tend to doubt my decision-making prowess because of the number of “opportunities for growth” I’ve experienced because of the choices I’ve made. But focusing on the beauty that poked out through the fertilizer (ahem) is definitely my goal!