Are you doing that thing again?
Where you focus solely on the daunting distance you’ve left to travel.
The granite-heavy workload you’ve still to muster.
The labor-intensive recovery yet unfinished.
Thus you forget to honor and celebrate just how far you’ve already come?
The obstacles you’ve already surmounted?
When healing, there will be days you can’t get your wheels to stop spinning.
Days you slide head first down the longest chute instead of climbing even the shortest of ladders.
Days you feel triggered and transported straight back to where your trauma began.
Those days are brought to you by the letter D for discouragement. The stymying consistency of quicksand and the frustrating visibility of a viscous fog. Paralyzing uncertainty that convinces you’ll never get where you’re going. Overwhelming exhaustion that threatens your once revved-up resolve.
Even though you’ve been trying so hard not to look back. . .
because you’re not going that way.
for fear of the avalanche of regret that threatens to crush you.
since you can’t go back, no matter the ferocity with which you wish you could.
On these D days though, the ones that stop you in your tracks, impeding forward progress—do look back, love. All the way back to ground zero. But just long enough to take in the scene and compare it to the one you’re in now. Just long enough to realize you are not back at square one. Ever so briefly, but long enough to log how far you’ve come. All you’ve overcome. All you’ve accomplished. All you’ve learned. All you’ve discovered yourself capable of. And the positive, inspiring example you’ve been to others.
Don’t forget that while you may not yet be where you’re going, you’re also not back where you’ve been. Remember to celebrate every breath you’ve taken in and then exhaled, for just breathing in those early days was so damn hard. Remember to honor the work you’ve done and the time you’ve put in, for you didn’t think you’d even get this far.
Don’t look back when you don’t need to, but remember to look back when you do.
Don’t look back when it won’t serve you, but do look back when it will save you.
Don’t look back and be discouraged, look back and be encouraged.