You May Walk with a Limp, but Walk Anyway (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 268)
“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”
— Ivy Baker Priest
Life is hard. Experiences can be harder. Just walking this journey can be both deeply painful and incredibly difficult. The doom and gloom all around make it increasingly tough to feel lightness, or air, or freedom. Or to see clearly without wincing at the brightness of reality. Or to walk on despite the debris underneath your feet. Sitting at rock bottom or holding on to a thin limb can be really frustrating and confusing.
What if you fall? What if the limb breaks? What if you never make it out of the hole? What if you never even make it to your feet to start climbing out? What if you really don’t know how you’re going to make? What if…? What if…?
And that’s how life goes. It is full of what-if’s. But let me tell you something: it doesn’t matter what is on the other end of that what-if question or what’s around the sharp bend that is too foggy to see through, you are going to be okay. You’re going to get through this because you always have. And many thousands of people before you have too. It’s not the end just yet. There’s more to the script you’re writing. You can do it.
Right at this moment, you are making progress. You’re getting through this hardship just like you’ve gotten through many others. Your heart is beating. Your blood vessels are working. Air is pumping into your lungs. You can’t see it all right now. You probably can’t feel anything right now. Adversity has a numbing effect sometimes. But you need to know that if you just keep going, one day the rain is going to dissipate and the sun is going to shine again.
Take this encouragement from me: a complete stranger. It’s okay. I don’t feel emotionally tied to your situation but I know you’re going to be just fine. This situation — whatever it is — will not kill you. It cannot harm you unless you let it get under your skin. Like bacteria, it has no effect on you unless you let it touch you. Unless you allow it to get inside your head and tell you lies you shouldn’t believe.
Do you believe in angels? Do you believe in God? If you don’t, start believing right now. You have thousands of angels all around you and God above you. They are cheering you on. They believe in you. God can see the end from the beginning and it makes sense to him. You just have to get through it. And you will.
You’re probably feeling hopeless right now. Maybe you’re alone and drifting in no particular direction. But like an iceberg has layers of thick ice underneath it that is invisible to the naked eye, you have layers of experience, knowledge, grace, wisdom, and strength underneath you. You have a track record of being pushed down and pulling yourself back up, of being treated unfairly and turning it around for something better.
You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for. Those who face the most heartbreaking situations find something deep within upon which to keep rowing until they reach the shore. Your pain is the permission you need to not give up, but to keep rowing to shore, keep climbing to the top, keep running until you reach the finish line. Suffering is the tapestry through which good things emerge.
Other people have survived. So can you. They’ve left a trail of little colored pebbles behind for you to follow. They knew someone else would need some help. You don’t have to do it alone. Someone, somewhere has pulled through. Find that person, find their story, and gain the strength you need to believe and thrive.
Of course, it all looks dark right now. It may be hard to believe you’re really going to be okay. But you will. And you’ll be more than okay, you’ll thrive. You will begin to see clearly, embrace life, engage reality, and live vibrantly. You will have more wisdom to offer to those around you and more strength to yes to the things that matter and more joy to live a well-balanced and positive life.
You may cry. You may hide under the covers. You may stand in your closet. You may feel the hurt. You may walk with a limp, but walk on anyway. Life’s too short to cave to pressure, to give in to adversity, to buckle under the overwhelming feeling of too-much-for-you-to-handle. You are alive and you are strong. You can do this. And it’s all going to be okay.
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
— Harriet Beecher Stowe