Losing My Way

Lark

Losing My Way

Lark
Over the years I have lost my way many times. The journey back has always been facilitated by the kindness and love of friends who saw me walking into the woods of despair and exhaustion and who may have made mention that I should take care. Knowing me as I am they did not try to stop me. Knowing the importance of each journey down each path they watched quietly while waiting for me to discover for myself that I was lost, again.

I remember losing my way when I practiced tough love on my son when he was a teen. He quit school and he could not imagine following a rule or being part of a home. My therapist told me to practice tough love and she told me what it looked like but she did not prepare me for the agony I felt inside as I sent him from our home. She did not prepare me for the exhaustion and illness that lay claim to my body and mind over the many months when I wondered if every phone ring was the phone ring. The ring letting me know that my son was dead. I remember losing my way at some point. I went to work and I moved along on a daily basis but I was gone from myself and could not find the joy in living. Over time I let go of my son and loved him just as he was and over time I woke up one morning to find my feet firmly planted on the path from which I had wandered. I remember sensing that I was different somehow and had come through a fierce and awful battle.

There have been other times I have wandered off course. I will believe that I am "fine. just fine." A couple of people will tell me they are concerned about me. I will assure them that I am o.k. I assure them that I have things under control. Even when my heart rate is up and I am frightened and feeling all alone I will smile and say that I am fine. The sensor in my brain that sends out alarms ahead of danger does not work or, and this is more the truth, I hear the alarms and ignore them. I am perpetually larger than life in my own mind. I was raised to be a survivor. In the middle of great personal chaos I will deny the struggle.

It is this character trait that brought me to my sofa tonight. It is this character trait that led me to believe I could handle a low grade infection for four or five weeks during which time my knee blew a flat (so to speak) and I found out I am facing a knee replacement. It is this character trait that led me to believe that I could stay up without sleep and maintain my health. In the middle of a developing personal chaos I pushed on and wandered far off course.

I was walking home with my outside cat in my arms tonight and thinking of how I got to this place of utter exhaustion and inexplicable fear. The moon had just come up and the evening was at that point where the day has just ended and placed our care into the evening. I heard that still, small voice saying how lovely the weather would be in the morning and how relaxing it would be to spend some time on the pier listening to the ocean and smelling the salt air. The voice continued suggesting that I could choose to have the faith to believe that God will take care of the people I love so much while I am doing God's will and caring for my husband. That voice, ever tender and yet firm, suggested I let go and simply do God's will for me at this time in my life. Care for my husband and for our home. Worship God. Be kind. Say No. Be still. Surrender to win.

I wish I could say I was filled with gratitude at that moment. I felt self-doubt and wondered if I would choose to choose the path set before me. I want to choose that path. I crave to choose that path. I pray and I ask God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and, most important of all, the wisdom to know the difference. In this process I know I will wake up soon with my feet on my chosen path. I know I will have learned a thing or two and I will be grateful to have arrived....once again.