How Do I Get There From Here?

Getting ourselves from Point A to Point B, whether it’s in the literal sense or the metaphorical one can be easy or be complicated. Regardless, the only way to make any progress is to start from where you are. This can sound reasonable or daunting, depending on the scope of the change you need to make.

 

I want to lose 25 pounds. I have to rebuild my career but have no idea what I want to do. I need companionship. I want my own space. How in the world will I manage to get through this challenge? I feel lost and have no idea what I’m doing with my life. What do I need to do to regenerate an important relationship?

 

These questions, or a million others, are the sort that can easily overwhelm us as we try to grapple with the demands of daily life, sometimes feeling as if we simply lurch from crisis to crisis, event to event as if caught in an unfortunate game of Whack-A-Mole. The challenge of figuring our way through an issue that lurks in the back of our heads or in the hidden corners of our hearts may seem to be just too much for us to handle. So we shut down, or we compartmentalize, or we develop a rash or an eating disorder, or we yell at our family, or just resign ourselves to the (effortless) belief that there’s nothing that can be done.

 

But there is.

 

I’m not letting you off the hook that easy. You can do something to alleviate your pain or confusion or misery. The first step is to start where you are. The simplicity of this sentence belies the complexity behind the thought. All too often, when daring to contemplate how to address such challenges, we project so far down the road that all the possibilities come clattering down around us like dominoes.

 

No. Stop. Start over. Start where you are now. What’s the first, obvious step you can take to move this ball down the field? Not buy cookies from the market. Make a list of the expert skills I’ve developed over the course of my career. Tell my friends I’m looking to date again. Find a way to carve out even 5 minutes of  “me time,” away from the familial chaos. Spend a few moments remembering the activities you’ve always loved. In other words, do the first, most attainable action needed to get you where you want to go. You do want to go there, right?

 

Here’s a tough example: someone I know recently lost his child to suicide. Months after the initial tsunami of grief, this man needed to find a way to move forward in life, for his own sake and for that of his family. Doing so seemed impossible, but he knew he had to try. So, when he could, he tried, first, to recount all the happy memories of his child—in other words, before contemplating what the future might be like without his child, the father started where he was at that moment. He built up his own strength and courage from a place of love for his lost child. With this as his foundation, he discovered it was easier to move forward.

 

When re-booting our life or contemplating an enormous change (whether wished for or not), the logistics can seem vast. We fear the unknowns and question whether we have the capacity to manage such a task. And, as we grow older, there seems to be even more at stake, even more to lose, a greater likelihood that we might fail. I know.

 

But, I also know that there is some small voice inside of you, pushing you forward, pushing you on. Instead of listening to your doubts or the “voice of reason” so that you might talk yourself out of the effort, reconsider. You’re stronger and braver than you give yourself credit for. Build from your strengths. You know you have them. The more you do this, the more encouraged you’ll feel and the braver you’ll get. Point B may feel a long way away, but with baby steps, you’ll get closer.

 

Listening to those voices of fear, doubt, grief, and worry will never move you down the field. You can start right now—you’re in the right place. Just breathe.

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One Response to “How Do I Get There From Here?”

  1. grasshopper Says:

    yes!! you can do it…and so can I. 🙂 I laughed outloud reading this blog, not because it’s funny, but because when you talked about starting with where you are and not projecting so far down the road, it really hit home. It made me realize how ridiculous it is for me to get caught up in worrying about how things will work out 1-3 years down the road. It’s absurd. We can’t control that. We just need to take things one step at a time and all will unfold as it will based on each action we take. Simple. Done. No need to fret about year 5 when I need to get to day 2, and the action I take on day 3 could change what I had projected for the next decade. 🙂

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