One morning last week I got out of bed to discover my Dino dog stretched out on the floor in front of the door, staring at it with great anticipation of getting to the other side. His chin rested on top of his furry paws so his cute little nose was so close to the door that there wasn’t space for it to open.
He didn’t move when I grabbed the door nob to open the door so I motioned to him and heard myself say, “you have to back up so I can get the door open for you.” The moment the words left my mouth I smiled, and almost laughed, at the clarity that so magically formed in my mind. And I went on smiling, muttering to myself, “you have to back up, sometimes you have to step back.”
Sometimes you must take a few steps back in order to get where you want to go.
Who would ever guess that such a silly, everyday moment of opening the bedroom door for my dog could create such a genuine epiphany! For that brief bit, life felt so beautiful and full of possibility as I pondered this idea that taking a step back doesn’t have to be something negative. It doesn’t mean you’re behind. It doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It doesn’t mean you’ve dropped out of the game. And it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t still get to go where you want to go or perhaps get to go somewhere even more incredible than you could have hoped or imagined.
As I thought about my time spent with this illness and the ways it may actually help me get where I want to go, I marveled at the deeper level of peace that I’ve only come to experience because of the way calm, quiet, and the ability to focus on one moment at a time have become necessary for my very survival.
The feeling of peace never seems to last forever, especially when new challenges get plopped down atop of the heaping pile of things that already felt hard enough, making the new challenges feel downright insurmountable.
But I love knowing that this feeling of possibility is always there for me to return to when I’m ready; the invitation to trust that this time spent hanging back, learning to live with pain, uncertainty, and limitations, and being steeped in peace and love, will create the space for a door to open…
A door that will be just the one I want to step through when the time is right.