Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Hitting the Wall
She stood there, just looking at the wall. It was monstrous...solid...black...ugly...and it stretched as far as she could see. She knew where she had been -- the dark places and experiences behind her. She didn't want to go back there! It had been a difficult journey at times, full of desolate valleys, craggy mountains, treacherous rivers, dangerous forests, and dark, scary corners. But she made it this far -- with the help of kind, caring souls along the way. She had come too far to turn back and needed to press on, but now this!
There's got to be a way, she thought. She turned to her left, walking next to the wall, on and on for days. It was exhausting, but it had to end somewhere, right? She spotted a sign posted on the wall, hoping it contained some direction or guidance.
The sign read: STOP! To continue in this direction is useless. Go back and try again.
Frustrated, she returned to her starting point. At least she knew going left wouldn't work; she turned to her right instead, following along the wall for days. Once again, she came across a sign: STOP! To continue in this direction is useless. Go back and try again.
Now she knew going to the right wasn't the answer either. She returned to her starting place, armed with new information.
Upon her return, she found a shovel. Maybe I can dig underneath it, she thought. She dug until her hands blistered; she was dirty and sweaty from the hard work. She saw the edge of a sign and uncovered it. STOP! To continue in this direction is useless. Go back and try again. She was tired, frustrated, angry and confused. Her options diminished with each failed attempt. She thought about quitting, but decided to rest before beginning again.
She awoke from her respite, feeling rejuvenated. A ladder was propped against the wall next to her. That's it! I can climb over the wall! She ascended with new enthusiasm, certain of her path. She climbed higher and higher until she could no longer see her starting place. On the wall, she found a sign: STOP! To continue in this direction is useless. Go back and try again.
She wanted to scream! She tried left. She tried right. She dug underneath, and climbed up. What other ways were there for her to try? She felt hopeless as she descended the ladder. She had all this information about the things that didn't work, but the remedy, the antidote, the solution, the path eluded her. Nothing made sense anymore.
When she reached the bottom, she found herself surrounded by balloons. Each balloon, all different and unique, had a word written on it as well as a string attached for her to hold. She grabbed a balloon nearby and pulled it closer to read the word. The first word was Tears.
That's odd, she thought, but as she held the balloon, long-buried feelings welled up in her and spilled out in the form of tears. After the tears, she felt better....relieved, and ready to move on. The second balloon was inscribed with Willingness. She had certainly demonstrated her willingness! Left! Right! Down! Up! What was next?
The next two balloons were connected: Strength and Courage. She realized from the beginning she would need both in equal parts for the rest of her journey. The fifth balloon had the word Grief written on it. The feelings returned: sadness, fear and shame. They weren't all hers, but she had to feel them before she could reach the next balloon.
Ahhh....this one would help.....Perseverance. She was encouraged to continue. Next came Hope. She couldn't have reached this one without the others before it. She could see how they were all linked....in the perfect order.....arriving at the perfect time.
It took longer to reach for the next balloon. She didn't grasp it as readily or easily as the others. So much of her journey had blocked it from her, but as soon as she could, she grabbed onto Self-Love and held it tightly against her. Once she possessed that one, she didn't want to let it go. Forgiveness followed closely behind. She was able to look back over her journey to see that she needed to make all those stops, cross all those rivers, and climb all those mountains to get to this place. She needed to go left and right, up and down to become who she was. And even those who had hurt her along the way had a part in the creation of who she way today. Because Self-Love came before Forgiveness, she was able to let those people and old hurts go.
The last balloon was Acceptance. With this one she was able to accept herself, all of her, her past and her present exactly as they were. She knew it was all a gift.
She stood next to the wall, holding her balloons, enjoying the peace and serenity that came with them. She saw a tiny sign on the wall that was previously undetected. The sign said: The only way out is through.
She held onto her balloons and stepped through the wall to freedom.
Have you struggled with an issue, trying to find a solution? Have you been frustrated by failed attempts to understand or "fix" it? Sometimes, you have too much information to go back, but not enough to move forward. It may be that the only way out is through.
Have you been there?