I started my journey of healing many years ago.
The first leg was a long, steep, difficult path that wound through rocks and thickets so dense, I couldn’t see beyond myself at all. It’s unpredictability was mind boggling. I would climb a little higher; then find myself in a hole with no apparent way out. Some days, I was pleased with what felt like progress, only to fall into a helpless heap of despair the next.
Eventually, the path widened into a road – you know the kind: Two tracks with plenty of ruts and potholes. The going was a bit easier and I had more perspective.
I found some nice spots to rest along the way: Just the right mix of sun and shade, running water near by and soft places for lounging and sleep.
I don’t know how it happened, but I came to another steep, difficult place; in fact, it was more painful and challenging than the first one. This time, there was no path. I had to whack my way through the underbrush. I thought I’d never get through it all! Perhaps the hardest part was that I blamed myself: If only I had learned my lesson the first time! What is wrong with me that I’m back here??
Eventually, I had the pleasure of travelling on wide, well paved roads. They were straight and level; there were lots of companions. Loneliness was not even a whisper of a thought. The camaraderie was wonderful!
Years later, my journey took a turn, and once again, I found myself in a quagmire. I was dismayed! This time, I had enough experience and maturity to recognize that this is part of a life-long pilgrimage. It was still difficult and in some ways, the most painful of all. I knew what to do: Keep moving forward, step by step, clearing by clearing.
The moral of my tale? When you find yourself in a difficult patch, know that you are making progress. These detours are necessary for continued growth and wellness. Greet them with dignity; don’t be surprised when they happen.