I sometime feel like I’m walking on a tightrope, feeling I could fall at any moment. I try to focus on my steps so hard, that I can’t see anything else around me. I can’t hear the noise or traffic around me. I’m just concentrating on the placement of my footing. Each step placed with purpose and total intention. But also fear, that each precise step is a wrong step. Not just a misstep, but an absolute wrong step. A step that might change the course of life forever.
No, I don’t think I am that powerful at all. I can’t change the world or the opinions of others. I know that yet, I feel put in that place. The fact is, that most days I am carrying a load of pressure on my shoulders. The livelihood of my children. The satisfaction of my husband. The emotional well being of every single person that I come into contact with…and this is not the job, I want or ever asked for.
How can my thoughts or opinions matter so much in some cases, and not at all in others? Why do people put so much weight in what I feel or say sometimes, but not every time? I worry about what my face says to people. I am scared that someone will be offended by me simply being alive, my pursuits in life, my wants or even my needs. Yet, I also know I have to focus on each step, each tiny movement I make. The smallest shift in my balance could cause a spiraling fall. And who would catch me?
Am I being soft enough, gentle enough? I am being active enough, motivating and lively enough? Am I being the right amount of strong and still being submissive? Am I being lady like or the strong-fearless women. Either one isn’t the right one. I am being just the right amount of leader and just enough of follower? Do I listen the right way or speak when I should? Have I been honest enough or just the right amount of compliant? Do I love like I should? Do I stand up, arise and go, when I need to? Should I hide and wait for directions?
Again, I shift my weight and began to take another step. I am moving now and that’s something. Honestly, the tightrope burns, it splinters my feet, and my arms are heavy. I know, one wrong step can have dire consequences. So I lean in and focus again.
How long I just stood still. I didn’t make a single move at all. I could have hung myself with that damn rope. But I didn’t…I stood every so still. Nothing could touch me, I was almost invisible. You’d think in that time of stillness that I would’ve seen everything, I missed before, being so focused in my footing. I didn’t see much at all. It was dark and cold and so lonely there…just standing.
Almost so calm it was terrifying. It was the absent of all things, all life, all color and all feelings. No worry, no hope, no love. I just was. I stood there as my feet bleed, waiting for the push to send me to my end, but it never came. No one came for along time.
I don’t know what is worse? Just standing there with nothing to move you at all, or the steady bloody foot steps, moving through the atmosphere with no scenery. No warmth, no laughter, no real purpose, other then not falling.
What caused me to take those first steps, after being stationary for so long? What force willed me to move my broken body and damaged mind? Let me pause and think back to that day. The day I started to shift, not only my feet, but also my thoughts.
I vaguely remember a voice in my ear. It wasn’t frightening or troubling, it was comforting and soothing. I remember being pulled…not pushed. I started to feel less heavy and more feather like. I was floating. The weight on feet was no long there. I was light and the scales from my eyes began to fall away. Everything was so bright, that it stung my eyes. I could feel the blood start to rush to my head. I was hot and cold at the same time. The pain from being immovable, trapped like a fossil, was starting to rage throughout my body.
I felt strangely happy to feel pain. I hadn’t felt anything in so long, this pulsing was a welcoming sign of life. I slowly reached up and felt a hand grab me, steadying myself to turn my body and take a step. I couldn’t see who grabbed me but I felt it. I knew it was bigger than me, stronger than I was, and whatever it was, it came to recuse me from my purgatory. For the first time in forever, I felt a twinge of hope.
I took a moment to look up at what took hold of me. It was bright white and the warmest sensation went running through my veins. The bright white glow held my gaze and even though I couldn’t make out what had grabbed me, it held me tight for awhile. All fear was gone, only protection and love surrounded me. I didn’t speak but we were communicating through my thoughts.
I was told I was one of the ninety-nine. I was told to start moving forward, not to look back. I was told that I would have pain and that it would be hard to keep walking but not to stop moving. I was told things for me would change for the better but it would take time. I would have hard days but that they wouldn’t last forever, have faith. Then the voice was gone and I could see myself for the first time.
I was pale, broken and bruised. I looked old and like no one I’ve ever seen. The vision made me cry.
I reached out again and steady myself to take a step and then another. It hurt, pain shot up my legs but it felt good at the same time. Adrenaline started pumping through my veins, and I wanted to run, but then I realized, I’m on a tightrope still.
I hadn’t left this rope but now I could move my body. I could feel everything and see blobs of color around me. I was slowly coming back to life but still in a fog. Each step felt like progress. Each bloody blister and exhausting step was one step farther way from the dark, cold place I use to be. The pain that shot through my body, tightening my muscles was now a reminder of the work, the progress I had made.
But now…now after so much time that’s gone by, this walk, these step are getting harder and harder for me. I’m struggling to keep moving, so many disappointments, lack of experiencing the joy of living is wearying on me.
So, I batten down, I focus harder and I keep moving, keep taking those step, no matter the pain it might cause me…I never stop. So many days, I want to stop, take a break, a breath but then what? Then I fall. No, I have to keep going.
So what can I do now? I was told to stay faithful. Was it God that spoke to me? Was it my guardian angel that grabbed on to me? Was it all in my mind?
I believe it was a higher power that pulled me from the depth of hell, so close to the end. I was most definitely saved by a grace, I had never known before. That hollow empty place is no longer my home. I was given a job but I don’t understand it or why.
I know I have to take a step and be faithful. I hold on to hope that better days will come but only if I do what I was told. So then…I keep going. No matter the pain, no matter the confusion that haunts me.
No time to look around and really see the world around me, but then I wonder…maybe I am being protected from the imagines I might see? No time to waste energy on what others feel or think about me. No more worry if I am enough or too much. I have my faith and hope, that I’m close to better days, the joy and laughter will come again. I got to be close to solid ground now.
A place where I can step off this fraying tightrope. A place where I can experience what life really is and not just a faded heartbeat. A place with community, friendship, joy from my kids laughter, real love that is present everyday. A place to worship and pray with others. A home that can really be lived in to the fullest. A place to make memories, getting rooted and expanding my horizons.
God was it you? Was You that pulled me from my hollow grounds? Was it You that gave me my orders? Was it You that sent me on my way? Lord, was it You that has prepared a place for me. Told me to have faith and then I’ll see again?
Well, if it was You Lord, I have kept my word. I have be so carful in my steps, no matter the hurt, I still make it work. I feel like it’s time, what do You think? Can I have a frim foundation? Will I get my home on Earth while you prepare my place with You?
I wait, walking, still moving and praying. Sure, the pressure is still so great. Knowing I could fall, that there are expectations people have for me, that I will never meet…I have to be okay with this. I have to trust my better days are near by.