A sleepless night. Physical pain, lots on my mind, and busy dogs all added up to me giving up and getting out of bed at 3:30am.
In the quiet of the morning, I sit and drink my coffee. I pet my new foster dog, at my home because of unspeakable abuse. I check the pool pump that exploded last night and is flooding the dead body cave room under the waterfall. I hope that the help that said they were coming, will actually come.
Today I want to talk about running away and looking forward all at once.
Moving to the island was definitely a run-away. I needed to get out of the environment that I shared with Michael. I needed to get out of our home, the place where he took his last breath. I needed to get away from the well-meaning but very painful interactions with those that still to this day reach out to me, expecting me to be able to comfort them because they miss him. I needed to get away from the pity looks and the whispers, the scenes where I would step up to the crowd and they would fall silent. I needed to get away from the pain of knowing friends that were nearby but who disappeared.
In running away, I also enabled myself to face the pain and the grief and process my losses and my life and my future. I personally believe that unless you really face it and address it and push through it, you won’t heal. And I can’t carry that kind of pain with me. And I couldn’t do it where I was.
It’s like getting in the car, driving away from a terrible fire, seeing it in the rearview mirror. You know you had to flee the fire or you would be burned to ashes. The fire consumed everything you thought your life was, and now you’re driving into a black gaping hole. You know that it can be a tunnel, or it can be a cave. Depending on which way you turn once inside. And if you do indeed find the tunnel and not the cave, you have no idea where the tunnel lets out. The tunnel is SO LONG that you think maybe you found the cave instead. But you keep driving, sometimes with no headlights, and you hope that you chose the tunnel. You hope to see the light.
The rear view mirror. What a bullshit thing this is. You can’t ignore it, as it has formed who you are and it is your story. But you can’t dwell there because that’s a cave. So you look out the windshield, even when it’s pitch black, and you squint and seek a direction.
The problem with the rearview mirror is that it reminds you of what you’ve lost, what you once had, and what you’ll never have again. At the same time, it can remind you of your strengths, your blessings, and the fires you have run away from.
I’ve been focusing really intently on that rearview mirror, adjusting it and changing the angle and the view so I see what I need to see and forget the rest. The pain and hurtful things that have happened are no longer in that view. All that is in that view is the loving marriage I was blessed to have; the moments of pride in my rescue and my accomplishments; the last few weeks with my dad that were life-changing and intensely meaningful; the memories that are my story. I’m looking through the windshield now.
I’m letting it all go. I’m a pretty good letter-go’er if I say so myself. I have let all the times I have been hurt go. I have let all the times I’ve felt wronged, go. I’ve let the life I used to live, go. None of these things serve me any longer.
The windshield is a scary view. I have no idea what’s ahead. My headlights still aren’t working reliably, and I can’t see sharp turns ahead. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I’m pretty sure it is the tunnel I am in, not the cave. With this, comes fear and anxiety.
And now, I have to work on letting that go. Just BE. Right here, right now. Just be. I’m in a position that some would envy. Relatively youngish with no ties whatsoever. I can go ANYWHERE I WANT. Do whatever I want to. I can move to Mexico next (which I think about a lot). I can go back to the US (not on my radar at the moment). I can stay here forever (doubtful but hey, it’s an option). I need to trust that somehow I will land on my feet as I always have. Trust that somehow I will find my way as I always have. Let it go and give it over to the universe. And I need to always remember, nothing is permanent.
Let it go. Look forward. You can run away and run into something all at once. And while you can’t tear that rearview mirror off, you can adjust it.