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Don’t look back, you’re not going that way!

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

“Beginnings are fragile things. They’re made of gossamer threads of hope and shimmer with the faint light of potential grace. It’s in the human heart that we begin weaving our designs and dreams of experience yet to come. We live our entire lives within chrysalises. As soon as we emerge from one, life sculpts another around us.”

The last two years has given me a lot of time to reflect and contemplate my life. Where I have been, where I am going and how am I going to get there.

I thought I had been doing well, until I heard someone talking about sleepwalking through their lives. As I was driving home after that conversation, I had a realization that is exactly what I was doing. The thing about sleepwalking is we are at some level not totally aware of our state of being. We continue to suit up, show up to survive. But the reality is we no longer are thriving.

I personally think and am grateful for this amazing ability to sleepwalk. It has allowed me to still function during the most difficult period of my life. Tomorrow will be the 2nd Anniversary of when my husband left this earth life. For those of you that follow me, you know his death was unexpected. The suddenness of such a trauma puts us in what I believe is an emotional, physical, as well as a spiritual cocoon. We form a chrysalis to protect us from the reality of the pain we are feeling. To go from that to the isolation of COVID for a year in many ways allowed me to heal. But the reality is it also allowed me to live in the past and not fully connect with my present, let alone think about my future.

So just like the butterfly the time has come to eject myself, gently into the next stage. The definition of chrysalis is “the form a caterpillar takes before it emerges from its cocoon as a fully formed moth or butterfly”.

So how do we embrace the memories of our past, without living there. By acknowledging the feelings that come up. By celebrating those times that surface that make your heart smile, even if it brings a tear to your eye. There is nothing easy about grief. It comes in waves and when it does embrace it like an old friend. Because memories are just that. There are tough memories that sometimes surface as well. I smile and say to myself,” wow, where did that come from?” Perhaps it is a reminder that all lives have their ups and their downs. No relationship is perfect.

I am learning to embrace it all. But I am no longer looking back. I am no longer sleepwalking. I am aware every day that looking back at my past, although it can comfort me at times, it really does not allow me to live in the present. And if I have learned anything it is that the present is all we have.

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