“When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. Your healing is not a straight line. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself, ‘All is lost. I have to start all over again.’ This is not true. What you have gained, you have gained.” — Henri J. M Nouwen
Every little victory we have in becoming a better, healthier person should be placed in a special little corner of our spirit. It can then be one of the treasures we look upon when we hit a bump in the road. These gains, these insights, will continue to fuel us when we run out of gas mentally and physically. We shouldn’t forget where we came from, but the greater things to remember are the hills we’ve climbed and the successes we’ve made.
“Sometimes little things build up and make you lose ground for a moment. Fatigue, a seemingly cold remark, someone’s inability to hear you, someone’s innocent forgetfulness, which feels like rejection–when all these come together, they can make you feel as if you are right back where you started. But try to think about it instead as being pulled off the road for a while. When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.
“It is important not to dwell on the small moments when you feel pulled away from your progress. Try to return home, to the solid place within you, immediately. Otherwise, these moments start connecting with similar moments, and together they become powerful enough to pull you far away from the road. Try to remain alert to seemingly innocuous distractions. It is easier to return to the road when you are on the shoulder than when you are pulled all the way into a nearby swamp.
“In everything, keep trusting…keep returning to the road to freedom.” — Henri J. M. Nouwen
Every day is going to present something different to us. But we must keep at it. I believe we all have the power within to be better, healthier, and whole. And that deserves our best effort.
Note: I have provided a link to the Henri J. M. Nouwen society for those interested in his life and teachings, as well as a link to “The Inner Voice of Love”. If perhaps you are an individual who does not feel called to a higher power as a source of strength or guidance, you may still find this a particular book of interest. It touches on a variety of subjects such as rejection, shame, hurt, loss, and healing. Each “chapter” is one to two pages long, therefore it is an easy read if you only have a few free moments in your day.