Forward, March

On March 6, 2014 I wrote down on a Post-It note,”3/6/15 Take an inventory of all the good that has happened in your life in the last year, all the positive changes, accomplishments, etc.” I came across the note to myself this week in my day planner as this Friday is March 6, 2015. In reading my note, I assumed something bad must have happened that day in 2014 and that the note was my attempt to remind my future self to get a grip, to see all the things I have to be grateful for. But as it turns out, after looking at my journal entry from that day, I had actually had a great day. It seems 2014 Kate was perhaps just trying to remind 2015 Kate that good is happening all the time, that things are always moving forward, never backward.
This year has brought a willingness and a desire I have never had before to really begin to examine my life, to take responsibility for where I have hurt myself and others, to sit in the pain and discomfort that comes from relinquishing control (and taking it back, and letting it go, and taking it back, and letting it go), to embrace what is wonderful about me and to snuff out what no longer serves me or others in a positive way, to be both a passive observer and active participant in my own life. Fear has been my constant companion: what if I’m wrong, what if I’m right, what if I fail, what if I succeed, what if I never figure anything out, what if I’m not ready, what if I’m too late, what if I’m too scared?
When we seek out the dark places of ourselves, we find the dark places of ourselves. We are prepared to deal with what we find because we are willing to find it.
So for me, I stand at the cave of my heart or my mind or wherever the dark places in me reside and say, “Hey! Who’s in there? Come out and let me see you.” And this version of me comes out, and it’s blinking from the light. It’s cold and hungry. All it’s been fed is fear, anger, disappointment, sadness, jealousy, resentment, shame. And I look at it--me--and say, “It’s okay. That’s enough. No more of that.” And it shrinks right before my very eyes in the light of compassion, love, kindness and my willingness to show it another way out. But in her, the one who just escaped, like Russian stacking dolls, there is another smaller cave. So I go again to the entrance and say, “Please come out. It’s worse in there!” And I do this over and over and over again until the caves become thimbles, little tiny thimbles of darkness that I can squish between my thumb and my forefinger until there is nothing left but light.
There is no going back. Even when it feels like we aren’t moving forward, we are. We absolutely are. To be willing is to be ready. The courage to face ourselves and our fears will come. It always does.

So maybe you’ll join me Friday by writing down all of the good that has happened in your life in the last year, all the positive changes, accomplishments, milestones, adventures, and wins. Bask in the joy of the day and the certainty of the forward march.