formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, January 4, 2016

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back...

Several years ago, while on a long-weekend-mini-vacation with my friend Cari in... Vermont, I think... I read the following words, which were stenciled on the wall of a spa where we'd booked massages.

Close your eyes and you will see clearly
Cease to listen and you will hear truth
Be silent and your heart will sing
Seek no contact and you will find union
Be still and you move on the tide of the spirit
Be gentle and you will need no strength
Be patient and you will achieve all things
Be humble and you will remain entire

I didn't have any paper with me, so I wrote them down on the inside cover of a small photo album I kept in my purse. Last night, when cleaning out an old purse I wanted to use again, I unearthed the album... and the poem (?). Is it a poem? The verse? 

The words.

Back then, when I scribbled in that little photo album, I was still married (and we were on the rocks). Ryan was little. I was still grieving for my dad. I was lost. I felt so alone. I didn't even recognize myself when I looked in the mirror.

I was holding it together... but barely.

And those words? They spoke to me. They called me to do what I hadn't been able to do for or with myself - be still and gentle and patient. I wasn't seeing clearly or hearing truth or finding union... and I so wanted to.

I so wanted to.

But after the trip, when I was back at home and buried under the responsibilities of being a wife and a mom and an employee, I forgot the words. And Life went on, as Life does. My marriage ended, my child grew into a young adult, the ache of missing my father lessened. A million things - both good and bad - happened to me, around me, because of me, in spite of me. 

And I became who I am right now. Right this minute.

Scarred. Flawed. Imperfect. Hurt. Damaged. Scared. Hopeful. Resilient. Strong. Brave.


My life is far from perfect at the moment. Far. Perfect is in a galaxy far, far away (I saw Star Wars yesterday. Good stuff, man. Good stuff). But it's good. I have so very much to be grateful for. 

And I'm learning. 

I'm learning to be still and silent and gentle and patient. I'm learning to see clearly, to hear truth, to find union.  

I'm learning that it's a slow process (dreadfully slow) and all too often I wind up taking one step forward, then three steps back... 

But I'm so much farther forward, in so many ways, than I was the first time I read those words. 

And sometimes? 

Well, sometimes I think it's good to look behind to see just how far you've come.

1 comment:

Michael S Newstrom said...


There you go. In fact, take another.


All kidding aside, you are right of course. Be patient. It's a hard one. Be gentle and accepting. Those are difficult as well; but, you nailed it.