How Asking Myself That Question Sparked A Change.
I was reading my scriptures this morning and it made me think about choices. Choices in what we focus on and choices in where, within ourselves, we choose to live.
I remember back in January 2018, when I was feeling the effects of my mother’s passing the prior August. It hit me suddenly and I checked out emotionally and mentally. I lost my job because of it and no one knew. I burrowed myself in my sorrow and hit rock bottom. When I say rock bottom, I’m not exaggerating. I wasn’t showering, I wasn’t really eating. I wasn’t combing my hair. I was just smoothing it it back onto a bun. I literally had developed a dreadlock. I would fake my “I’m okay” story when family would visit. I would pretend that “all is normal” and no one was the wiser. I cried a lot. I prayed a lot. I didn’t like myself….a lot.
However, one day, during my lowest of low points, I asked to stop feeling this way. Well, actually, it was more like I begged. I finally realized I could not go on that way any more. My answer came as an internal decision to take a step. Take a small step into the light. It was like a switch had been flipped….……..and I chose to speak the truth of my situation. I chose to get up and push through the difficulty and take those first steps out of the darkness.
If I had seen and experienced blessings in the past why would I think I couldn’t experience them again? Why would I want to stay in the sorrow? Be tempted to stay curled up in a ball, with my secret dreadlock and shut the world out? Why would I choose to stay in darkness when I had proof that there was light?
As silly or as weird as it may seem – I took a huge step (which was huge to me at the time) and I combed out my dreadlock. I made a choice that I was going to got outside and be part of society again.
I was running out of money and I was running out of food. I went to social services and applied for public assistance. In New York, in order to receive assistance you have to also be active in job searches, which was fine by me because I needed to get back to work and feel productive. I remember my first appointment with the case worker. It was demoralizing. At the time, I remember thinking, on a objective level that he was just so used to people who were not honest, so I was just another face in the crowd. But internally, it still made me feel like I was less than. That I was of no value. However, I pushed through.
It was a struggle. Everyday was a struggle. But I got up each day, I got dressed (and combed my damn hair) and went through the steps, jumped through the hoops and showed up to appointments and in the afternoons I spent time at the library using their free WiFi to job search because I had lost mine at home. Each day, each morning, I made a choice to not live in the darkness and not forget that I lived in light before this. I lived each day knowing that I was supported and loved by a power greater than myself and that all I had to do was show up each day. To society and to myself. Show up and do the things.
Is my journey over? No, not by a long shot. But the point is, I’m present and on the journey. I’m still walking the path, I’m still showing up in my life and doing the things. That is all I can ask of myself. That is all you can ask of yourself, Show up and do the things. Maybe not perfectly, maybe with bumps on the road and pebbles in your shoes, but still walking the path nonetheless.
Small steps, lead to bigger steps and bigger steps lead to leaps. No one is asking me or you to make giant leaps other than leaping in faith that the small steps you take are going to lead you out of the darkness and into the light.