Just Be Okay
Pausing to reflect is important. Indeed, it is. But only when the reflection is focused on the lessons learned in our struggles, the victories earned in our triumphs and the choices needed to move forward in a positive way.
Pausing to reflect can be devastating if we're squarely focused on the negative consequences of our choices and actions. It's like constantly analyzing where and why we swerved off the road. If you're driving along and you skid off a slippery highway, finding yourself in a ditch, you might pause to thank God you survived. You probably would spend a minimal amount of time thinking about what happened leading up to and creating the loss of control. But then your main focus turns to what it must be in those moments: "How do we get out of this ditch?"
When flashes of what to do now are clouded by constantly analyzing what went wrong, feeling bad about what happened and obsessing about how it could have been different, we become stuck. Truly stuck. Paralyzed by our thoughts, we sit and stew inside as the windows become covered until we can't see the road. Soon, disoriented, we lose our sense of direction. We know we can't give up, because staying here will eventually kill us if we don't act. Our basic instincts of survival demand we act and act now, if we hope to ever get out of here, we must act.
That's where I've been. In that vehicle. I'm not alone. I have my hopes and dreams with me. I have the best of intentions with me too. I have family and friends who reach out and offer support and they believe in me 100%; they always have. If I were more clear with them, revealing my location, they would find me and once again their support would be fully received as it once was in the best of times. Instead, I sit here, feeling the sting of the cold as thoughts of my chosen consequences pierce me in every way I allow.
I occasionally receive messages from people far and near who have read my blog, my book and facebook mini-blogs and they send some of the most incredibly positive stories about how my journey has affected them. They're on the road, hands on the wheel and thanking me for inspiration they've gleaned from my experience. Perhaps they haven't heard of my current dilemma. Maybe they have and they're hoping it motivates me to act and act now. I often find myself in tears while reading these, filled with happiness for them first, then reminding myself that this is all I want to do with my life; to be a positive light for others; to serve as an honest example of what's truly possible. Then, I become overwhelmed with guilt, withdrawing into myself, hiding from the truths I must embrace to get me out of here.
This isn't a pity party. This isn't a cry for sympathy. This is the truth of where I am and it's a place I've kept myself by choice. No, not the best choice(s), obviously, but it's my doing. I'm responsible for me.
I have little sympathy or compassion when I read about a blue chip athlete who has it all going for him, yet self-destructs before he realizes his ultimate goals and dreams. Or when they achieve incredible heights, only to fall quickly by way of their own horrible choices. Yet, I find myself in a similar place.
If I'm not willing to give someone else sympathy and compassion in this situation, imagine what I'm doing to myself. I must have compassion for myself, self-forgiveness and an eye for the clearer road ahead. I have serious choices to make. Good choices. I have the tools readily available to emerge from this death trap and get back on the road to safety and positive leadership.
Oklahoma's own Vince Gill once sang "There's no future in the past," and oh my, how true that rings. I can't go back in time and prevent what has happened, so why constantly obsess over the elements involved? I can move forward in a positive way, one choice at a time. And when I'm in similar positions someday, I'll appreciate the experience I've gained, giving me the strength and insights to be okay.
Someone I truly care about recently told me to just "be okay." And it sent me in search of what that means. It sounds so simple. "No really. Just. be. okay." I want to be okay.
I think it means to appreciate the positive blessings, let go of the negatives and move forward in peace. I think it means for me to have compassion for myself and others as I navigate the future in this direction, instead of wallowing in the maze of my past. I think it means to stop trying to figure out how to undo what's already done, like it never happened--and make positive steps toward a future where the same mistakes are not repeated. Just be okay.
That's where I am. I'm working on being okay. I'm reaching for the door handle leading out of this place. The sun shines on the other side of this door. Why would I choose to stay in the darkness? There's fresh air out there, there's love, there's peace, there's family and friends...there's hope and promise.
I've deflected every inquiry from family and friends about what I want for Christmas. I simply want peace. I simply want to be okay. And this Christmas wish isn't something anyone else can give me.
I'm here. I'm choosing to release myself from the imprisoning thoughts of yesterday. I'm choosing to live today.
I wish you the best Christmas wish I can, that you find peace, love and most of all, you find yourself being okay.
Thank you for reading, my friend. Thank you for your incredible support. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for being you.