You are standing on a sports field with a line of strangers. The grass is just mowed, damp from the morning rain. Gnats are gathering at your ankles, and the sun is shining on your back. The warmth leaves a trickle of sweat down your shirt, but you stay still, listening to the man before you.
“Take a step forward,” the man calls, standing bald and boxy at 5’11. “For every time you said ‘good’ when someone asked how you were doing this week.”
For those of you at home, count your steps in deep breaths.
“And take a step forward,” he continues, “for every time you tried to hide your tired eyes in skin-colored makeup.”
You listen, and respond with a step.
“Take another step for every moment this week that didn’t go as you planned.”
You walk and walk, until you are circling back across the field.
“And reach your arms to your body in a hug for every time things went their own way, and you followed that new track.”
Chances are, you are not the only one standing in self-embrace at this moment. Chances are, you are not the only one with your arms still at your side. Chances are, where you stand at this moment doesn’t matter. But it’s easy to forget, in seeing where others stand, that this is really the case. We look out for comparison. Are we good? Are we right? Are we keeping up with the pack? We look down at ourselves to see what could be different, perhaps better. We wonder how all of our decisions amounted to this present state. Could we have decided differently?
And we get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt.
If only I were different. If only I knew then what I know now. If only. If only.
If only we would stop! And see that where we are is okay. Because this is what is. This is reality. No, it’s not the same as our neighbor’s reality. And often, it’s not where we hoped we would be at this time in our lives. But oh, boy, is our reality filled with opportunity!
You lost someone from your life?
Okay. It happened, and now you have a chance to be that energy and strength for yourself.
You faced a roadblock in your job?
Fantastic! The hard part is over, and now you can really, truly grow. Real fulfillment comes from challenge and perseverance anyways!
The reality is, when we get lost in doubt, comparisons, cycles of what ifs, we forget what truly matters: We are powerless. The world, the people around us are not ours to control. AND, in the absence of control, we can find the strength to let life change course, and to still choose to move forward.
So take a deep breath with me, and look into a mirror. Notice your eyes, the authenticity coming from beneath that mask we so often wear. And say aloud – yes, aloud! – “I am powerless, AND I have such strength.”
You are here. And here is good, because here and now is simply what is.
© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.