Friday, November 2, 2012

Trust the Forward Path

I will never be the same.  I want my old life back.  If only I could go back in time and do it differently.

It's so easy to find ourselves wanting things to be the way they used to be.  Especially when things are tough or we're insecure about who we are right this moment.  Why do we do that?  Why do we want to go backwards?

This is a forward life.  Time only moves one direction.  There is no going back.  Even if you can change your decision you haven't really gone back and undone anything.  Because you are different.  You have learned something from that experience.  Even if all you learned was regret.

Years ago my marriage was abusive.  I'd lived with it for years and told no one.  If anyone suspected it, they never said anything to me.  And then one day all my life experiences combined to make me see it and face it.  I finally told someone.  I finally decided to change it.

And my world fell apart.

Things got ugly.  Really ugly.  Suddenly my husband was accusing me of having an affair, threatening divorce, and even sleeping somewhere else.  As I melted down and became lost in my misery I said, "I wish I could go back and just leave things the way they were."

But I couldn't.  Because the truth had been told and because I knew too much.  Living with it in ignorance and hidden is quite a different thing than knowingly and openly letting it continue.

Lots of therapy for both of us later, my marriage is good.  We've both learned so much.  We've grown.  We've changed.  We are better individually and together.  Because we didn't go backwards.

Sometimes when I am feeling sorry for myself because I don't feel well, I long for the days of my youth.  I remember all the energy I had.  I remember all I could do.  I remember how fun and bright I was.  I wish I could be that me again.

And then I remember how shallow I was before.  How I knew a lot of facts but wasn't very wise.  How I had lots of friends but no one I could tell my deepest secrets to.  How I wasn't sure enough of who I was to open my heart and trust.

Life changes us.  Sometimes we focus on what we don't have in this moment.  Who we aren't.  And we don't see who we are or who we are becoming.

My life has gone through lots of yuck.  Sometimes I have cursed the path I've found myself on.  But always -- always -- I have found myself somewhere better.  Someone better.

It's comfortable to be who we are.  The us we know.  It's scary to become someone else.  But each person we are is meant to be temporary.  If we remain that person for too long, the glory wears off.  The shiny us becomes dull. 

I have been reminding myself of this often recently.  Trust the forward path; it's never let you down before.

So I'm done sitting in one place longing for who I was.  I'm stepping into who I will be.


Dawnelle said...

One of your best posts! I hadn't thought about the shiny wearing off. Your post reminds me of the word grace: Divine help to overcome.

Modern Gypsy said...

This is an excellent post. We do tend to wish we had done thigs differently quite a few times, but each decision that we take shapes us into the person we are today.

Mothering From Scratch said...

{Melinda} This is a beautiful, hard-earned post. Written by someone who has known the struggle and gained wisdom from it.

This week on our blog we are writing about adversity and how "wounds make warriors." It is SO true. It is incredibly painful, but without our wounds we are shallow and unable to authentically minister to others.

Thank you for this.

Marcy said...

Congratulations for having the courage to make the changes that you did! I love your reflection on the changes you made and how we have to keep moving forward.

My kids are teenagers now, and I sometimes catch myself wishing they were still the little kids they were, but I also know our family has entered a new phase that offers many new rewards.

Your story would be perfect for a postcard feature I have started on my blog. Let me know if you are interested. said...

Wow! You went through a lot but ended up better. Not everyone does that. They either live with the bad situation or they come out bitter. Your story is inspiring.

And I know what you mean about looking back. I have a bad habit of doing that. I always have to remind myself that we left or changed the situation because it wasn't good. So going back wouldn't solve anything. But change can be so hard sometimes!

Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts. Visiting from SITS.

Bonnie said...

Amen, sister. Once you've traveled that path about so far, looking back and seeing the betterment, you sooner trust the voice that calls from another comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

It's so wonderful that you and your husband were able to work things out. Yes, moving forward is always best. Life is full of dark times and times of light.

Jessica Grace said...


Prowess and Pearls said...

Great post true. We must keep going forward. Just as water is...if we remain stagnant, we'll soon waste away. Thanks for sharing! Dropping by from SITS btw.

Kim@Co-Pilot Mom said...

What a very inspiring post. I think there is so much wisdom in your words; we do need to keep moving forward in this life.

another jennifer said...

Beautiful post. Keep moving forward!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Love the last sentence. That's the way to live.

Savvy WorkingGal said...

Once again you have provided a valuable lesson. Someday I am going to go through your entire blog/comments and jot down all of your lessons. It would make a valuable tool for my strength project. You have some great commenters as well.

Lyn said...

You could not have posted this at a better time (for me). I feel as if I have put my life on hold since 1999, when I got involved with my second husband. I lost everything because I stayed in that abusive relationship. And lately, I've been very angry because of where I am in my life now, and everything I lost, and how I don't even know how to rebuild. I haven't been in a "good" place for 13 years, and it's exhausting living this way and never finding any solutions. I tend to forget that I have gained a LOT of wisdom, and I have become a better person (for the most part) because of what I have survived.

Thank you for this beautiful post to remind me that I have been moving forward, and I have accomplished things despite my resistance to change.

Melissa G. said...

The first step is always the hardest.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I so admire you and your husband to, for facing your demons and coming out the other side.

It's hard, though, to not have regrets. I often find myself wondering what it would be like if I let that fight that flipped the switch on my marriage go. If I'd looked the other way, where would I be? I know that I am a better person now... my life may not look like I thought it would, but I trust that I am in a better place now.

Amarie said...

Wonderful words, from a place of both wisdom AND experience!

Suz said...

I love you!

Linda Jordan said...

You are such a great writer, I always love reading your posts. I can relate a lot to your emotions, yet we have very different situations...I have been through a lot, and though there are times I wish I could back to simpler times, I think, even though sometimes things get worse before they get better, I am always moving forward. The one thing that I think gets me through the hard times is knowing that, even if my life is worse at this moment than it was before, I am a better & wiser person than I used to be & in that way I am always moving forward. Good luck with everything you do, thanks for visiting my blog...I hope to see you around again :)


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Mommy Rodeo said...

I sometimes see this kind of looking back directed to choices. I wish I had made this choice or that one... but the problem is that they are choices I made. And those choices got me to where I am today. You are right to just live today and look forward to tomorrow.