Looking Back

Sometimes we stop what we’re doing and we look back to where we were. As we contemplate where we are in our lives and the path we chose to get here there is a tidal wave of emotions. Those emotions aren’t always positive; but they should be.

Allow me to be a little overly vague and say that everything happens for a reason. Although we may have had plans of doing this or that something went awry and it never manifested. It didn’t happen because it wasn’t meant to. I truly believe even tragedy has a purpose in those that it impacts.

Even trying to pull the positive out of our paths can be difficult. There was a time, on my most optimistic days, that seeing any type of positive was almost an impossibility. It took other people pointing out the positives and justifying them.

There has been one that’s stuck with me. It was said as a smart ass response to my sarcastic remark. Just starting in recovery is rough. I was surrounded by disturbingly happy and bubbly people who smiled, laughed, and enjoyed every aspect of life. Life that I was still unsure if I truly wanted. Naturally this environment struck a murderous cord somewhere deep within my soul and it was sometimes an effort not to lash out.

As I checked into my daily barrage of appointments I was given an overly enthusiastic greeting and inquiry into my well being. I replied rather sarcastically…

“Well, I’m alive.”

Without skipping a beat he smiled, chuckled softly to himself, then said…

“You are alive. It’s the one thing in life you’ve succeeded at every single day.”

That concept stays with me. The idea that I’m 100% successful at something. That applies to each and every person reading this right now. No matter how bad things were in the past. No matter the tragedy. No matter the heartbreak. You’re still reading this right now. So you’ve survived every challenge put before you.

Sometimes when we look back it’s hard to look at what we’ve accomplished. Sometimes all we can see is the negative, the mistakes, the tragedy, and the pain. Aside from all of that we’re still here; completely successful at surviving whatever comes across our path.

So maybe this time as we look back we can put that ball of negativity on a shelf and let ourselves see that success. Pinpoint that one moment you never thought you’d get through. That one time where you could no longer see then next instant let alone any significant future. Acknowledge that hopelessness. Then look at all that you’ve survived from that point. Look at everything you’ve accomplished. Every step forward is a success, no matter how small. Every step reinforces that you’ve walked through hell and come out intact.

You have a perfect record at life. Perfect. That’s something to be proud of.