How Far We’ve Come

Red Tailed Hawk
Hawks remind me I am on the right track. This was taken at A Place Called Hope

I just read a post on a Facebook group I follow that made me weep. If you know me well, then you realize that tears are a common occurrence. I am less inclined to cry over sorrow, but gratitude and appreciation for the human spirit – they move me every time.

The post was from someone I barely know, who had just battled through anxiety to make a long plane trip. I was genuinely thrilled for her success, understanding that hurdle all too well. Realizing also, that when one of us triumphs, we all succeed.

Trying to Spread Joy

It is so funny how the Universe works. I started my day with an e-mail from a former employer who had treated me terribly. They wanted to know a password from an account that is 5 years old. Being the good little doobie that I am, I actually had that password and was happy to share it knowing it was going to make someone’s life a whole lot easier. [As an aside, did you know that finding pleasure in being the source of another’s joy is called “macarism.” A friend posted that on Facebook while I was in the middle of writing this. So cool!]

Although overall I was happy to be of assistance, I did have a twinge of resentment arise as I remembered the hell that the company put me through. Thoughts of letting them suffer were on the edge of my mind, but I quickly made the kinder decision. Albeit I did say something a bit snarky that I immediately regretted. Two steps forward, one step back…

The More Things Change, The More…

The tone and the nature of the e-mail conversation reminded me that things at the company have not likely changed much. Sometimes when I stumble onto patterns like that I start to wonder if change is really possible. It makes me think of Maya Angelou’s famous quote:

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

It has been a notion that I have tried to overlook throughout my life, always believing that in spite of consistent proof otherwise, people can (and do) change. I know I certainly have. Either way (change or no change), I know I don’t want to live in a reality in which miserable people stay miserable, so believing in the possibility for change is the option I choose.

New Moon = New Beginnings

The synchronicity between the timing of that e-mail, and the fact that yesterday was a new moon isn’t lost on me. During a new moon, it is as though the slate is wiped clean. We have the opportunity to start fresh; to plant seeds and start nurturing new growth in our lives.

Amazingly, shortly after the brief exchange of e-mails, I came upon a post from a health advocate I love, she reminded me, “When you move through life with the knowledge that most people’s actions have nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own hangups, it’s easier to brush off their bad behavior.” As I was reading it, a large red-tailed hawk went flying by my office window. I often get signs from hawks when I need validation, a reality that in the past several years seems to increase in proportion to my ability to appreciate it.

Always a Work In Progress

I know by the strong negative emotions that arose in me as soon as I received the employer’s e-mail, that I haven’t reached my full potential by any means. But, I also accept with optimism the challenge of continuing to work on being the best version of myself – calmer, kinder, more forgiving, and less judgmental in the negative sense.

Today’s beautiful synchronicities and signs encourage me to reflect on how far I have come in the past 5 years:

  • I battled anxiety and panic attacks and ultimately emerged stronger, more compassionate, and more resilient.
  • I no longer accept lies, misdirected anger, or a tendency to devalue my contributions from employers, clients, family, or friends.
  • I have grown to appreciate and better understand what my body and the Universe (God, my spirit animals, signs & symbols of all kinds) have to tell me.
  • I have realized who really loves me when the going gets rough, and who is only there when they need something.
  • I have realized that even though I may not be the best, most successful writer, I have something valuable and powerful to share.
  • When faced with a challenging situation I have learned to remember love is greater than fear.

Looking back is a powerful tool in moving forward. What are you proud of over the past 5 years? Please share your comments below or on Facebook. I would love to hear how far you’ve come.

2 thoughts on “How Far We’ve Come”

  1. Hmmm last five years have been fairly dull. I did survive emergency surgery and general anesthesia which I amd scared to death of….. At 62 I am still able to power through a 60-70 hour work week….I managed to drive myself and my very ill husband to Florida on a July 4th weekend when we relocated ( a personal challenge/ goal) p, and I still manage to ride my horse almost weekly, weather permitting, albeit not well! I can’t seem to command my brain and body to respond fast enough to my instructor/ daughter’s requests!!! But I am still alive and moving.. Somewhat! So I guess that’s my accomplishment.

    1. Michelle Traub, M.A., R.D.

      Those are amazing accomplishments! Moving, hospitalization, work challenges – those are all MAJOR stressors and you handled them all. Way to go! Thanks for sharing Momma D.

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