Tuesday, March 22, 2005

One Moment Of Hopelessness

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.
Saint Francis de Sales

An awakening is the sudden realization that if you do not repair the damage in your life you will be doomed to live a nightmare. Once you admit how wrong things are it is impossible to go back to pretending. At that point only two choices remain, two clear paths lead from that special place of understanding.
One road just extends what is behind you only it is littered with the added debris of hopelessness that knowledge of its difficultly and its final destination inspires. It was my thought of forty more years of torture followed by the nursing home then the cemetery that brought me to a wakening spot. Everything in me rebelled at the notion of taking even one more footstep down a road so hopeless.
The other path is in shadow. Where it leads is uncertain. Every step taken there demands faith, and any light cast comes from you. It is determination to change things that keeps the road ahead illuminated. Time, practice, and patience ease the journey. Every positive alteration clears away some of the fog, until you suddenly realize that you no longer have to struggle to see where you are headed.
Each day I remind myself of that other road, and the nightmare my life used to be. I begin again with the task of plotting my course, noticing where I stumble, rejoicing in the places I can run free toward whatever is just ahead. When I fall now I do not consider the possiblility of retracing my steps. I pick myself up and go on, safe in the knowledge that nothing faced on this road will ever be as scary as the life I once lived. And it all began with one moment of hopelessness. Life is wonderful that way.