Lately, I’ve struggled with staying positive in the face of some extremely difficult circumstances. The path before me seems daunting, and I have doubted myself, second-guessed myself, succumbed to panic and despair and loneliness…and somehow climbed back out again, putting one foot in front of the other, grasping the tiniest threads of hope in my determination to move forward—only to sink back into yet another cycle of fear and doubt.
The last few years have been an emotional roller coaster, mostly resulting from my decision (based on strong messages from my intuition) to move to a new city and state, uprooting myself from the known to the unknown, from living in the midst of a community that knew and loved and looked out for me to a community in which I was a stranger, an outsider—a place that still doesn’t feel like home after more than five years.
Lately, there have been mornings when I’ve awakened feeling depressed before I even opened my eyes, and others when I’ve awakened with the cold fingers of panic clawing at my heart. This morning was leaning toward the latter, but this morning I also awakened with the face of my sister’s best friend (and her sister of the heart) floating up in my mind.
Alice had MS, and she lived with it and fought to stay positive in the face of it for many years before it finally resulted in her death. She was an amazing person, even before she became ill, and we all still miss her. I have a photo of the two of us rocking out at my sister’s wedding that I keep tucked in my bedroom mirror to remind me that, no matter how hard things seem, I can do this. Of course, like many of the things with which we live every day, the photo sometimes blends into the landscape and goes unseen, just as our inner strength sometimes gets buried under the day-to-day challenges that at times seem endless in their pursuit of us.
Perhaps Alice knew I needed a boost this morning and paid me the briefest of sleepy-headed visits, just to remind me that I can, in fact, do this—whatever this might happen to be. Stranger things have happened, and I’ve experienced enough of them to know—on a level that’s deeply important—that they’re very true and very real.
So today—in spite of my worries and fears—I will go for a walk, which, at the end, Alice couldn’t do anymore. I will dance with my ballet students. I will write a grant to help a worthy organization grow and continue to change the lives of children. I will play with my dog and putter in my garden. Because, as Alice has reminded me this morning, I can do this.