Those who know me well, know that I have a writer’s heart. Those who know me intimately know that I have not written anything in more than six months. To a writer, six barren months can seem like an eternity. Why did I seemingly have nothing to say? Why did the words not come? Why couldn’t I get my feelings down on paper?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have not been idle in these last six months. In fact, I have been very busy moving across the country to a new city, separating myself from toxic people and environments that were no longer serving me. I have been building a new nesting place, seeking out new friendships, rebuilding from trauma as only a true “Phoenix” can manage to do.
It has, at times, been an uphill battle. Some do not understand my journey. They do not need to understand. It is not their journey. Only I can see with the vision of my heart.
Today, I saw a movie that impacted me greatly: “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. As all things tend to do, this movie came to my life at the precise moment that it was most needed. Its impact was great, and it revealed to me sides of myself that I could not have comprehended just a few hours ago. It was a revival of spirit that lifted a great weight from my heart. It made me see that I am still walking forward, and maybe even gaining momentum.
In recent months, my life had taken a sudden, unexpected turn. In one swift movement, everything seemed to have fallen out from under me. The air seemed to have been sucked from my chest. I found myself in an emotional place that I had not anticipated. At some point in time, each of us experiences a dark night of the soul. This was apparently my time for darkness; a place where I did not know what my next move should be. At these turning points, I know that I must actively choose happiness, to seek joy, to nurture myself. I instinctively know that I must keep choosing these things every day. “Fake it until I make it”. I must not allow myself to lose my focus.
The movie first got my attention with these words: “In racing they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.” I had to regain control of my “vehicle”.
I realized that I am the “driver” who has never lost sight of where she wants to go. Perhaps I am the only one that sees my vision, but I see it clearly, and I will continue to move in that direction. Walls cannot defeat me. Setbacks are just a setup for a great comeback!
Sometimes it can seem like a luxury to “hit the wall”. If you hit the wall then everything has already been decided for you. You do not have to keep trying. You do not have to make decisions. The decisions are already made for you. You can lay down the burden. You accept defeat. That is the way of the coward.
Instead, I have decided to adopt the way of the champion. “There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.” My race is not over. My vision is still alive and well, and I have more than a few laps left. Perhaps I am the only one who sees that my story still has more chapters to be written, but I am the only one who needs to see them. I feel them with every cell of my being.
Life dealt me a traumatic blow. It was like having a passenger in my car who “suddenly grabbed the steering wheel and turned me down a side street”. For a long time everything seemed to be in chaos, lost without a map, unsure of the next turn. But through it all, the one constant has been that my vision has never changed. I was sure that I would find my way. “This is a rule of racing: No race has ever been won in the first corner; but many have been lost there.” The trick is to go the distance, remaining constant in your own truth.
My friends continually remind me that I need to work on patience. “All good things come to those who wait”, they say. I have no problem in the waiting, but I have to constantly remind myself that there is much to be done while waiting. “The race is long-to finish first, first you must finish.” I have not lost patience…..in fact, I now realize that patience may just be my greatest asset. I am staying in the race. With more laps to go, I am visualizing the checkered flags, and anticipating the victory celebration. “The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles in order to triumph.” I am not afraid of obstacles. What is in me is greater than those things that want to defeat me. What is meant for me will ultimately be mine. I refuse to turn my back on my vision. This is my life, and for me “only the best will do”!
And so, I will stay in the race. My brakes and my tires are warm. It is time to take my laps at speed. I will “shine with all of my light, all of the time”. My soul needs to “do what it came to do and learn what it came to learn”, and in so doing I will grow in strength and wisdom, compassion and integrity.
I will persist in my journey. I will continue to grow in love and service. I will live with joy. Why? Because that is my choice. And to you who read my words; my greatest wish for all of you, is that your visions and dreams will be fulfilled, and your final laps will all be victorious!