it is at that place in my memory where i can juuuust-about-touch-it-but-not-quite – the first time i heard, ‘ don’t stare into the rearview mirror. that’s not the direction you are going.’ i can’t quite remember when or where i first heard it, but it was one of those comments that i stored away as a wisdom to feed off, something that would give me strength in a moment of weak, something that would give me hope in a moment of despair.
my john glenn high school senior class song was seals and crofts’ ‘we may never pass this way again’. even if it’s the best. even if it’s the worst. never. this moment won’t be repeated and, with the absence of time travel, we cannot re-live it. ever.
we have all walked in different shoes on different paths. we have passed through challenges of which we may never speak; we have had successes about which we have never bragged. we have been hurt; we have hurt. and we have healed.
“healing does not mean going back to the way things were before…” (ram dass)
the thing about healing is what it teaches us. we can never be un-hurt. we can never undo what was done or what we did. we can’t return to the baseline; it has vanished with the winds of change. in a million tiny pieces of glitter, it’s in that proverbial rearview mirror.
but we can ride the river of our breathing into new normal. we can carry with us learnings and soft words of apology. we can pack our virtual baggage with tools of prevention and fairness and forethought. we can pick up techniques of negotiation and navigating in the process of coming-out-of-pain. we can avoid the temptation to retreat from moving forward, thinking that healing means it’s all back to what it ‘was’ before.
instead, we can step, in blind faith, into next, trusting that healing will bring us to a new place, a new start. that healing will have somehow gifted us, given grace to all involved in ways we may never know or understand. that healing will be like dawn, like rain, like birth.