I've been through a tough situation for the past few weeks. Yesterday I had the feeling I came out safely on the other side and I learned a lot of lessons. With the hard stuff in our lives we have to put one foot in front of the other and walk through it. There is no circumventing the process. I think back to times where I was in pain and I did bow out in the middle because it was too damn hard, and I think my personality is the poorer for quitting before it was through.
One benefit of getting older is the wisdom that comes with it. When I was in my twenties and was in a hard season of life, I would always panic, thinking the jig was up and my life would be horrible forever. Then of course the bad times would end, good times would return, and I'd think that was going to be the lasting season. Neither one lasts. Everything that happens to us in life is temporary, and in my thirties I have realized this truth: there is good in the bad and vice versa. Enjoy the easy times but be prepared for life to change. Learn what you can from each season you are in, and take those lessons into the next challenge, and you will be better equipped to face it.
I've shed a lot of tears during these last few weeks. I questioned my abilities as a parent. I felt attacked and wounded. I knew I had the support of my friends but I still experienced loneliness in the battle I was fighting. Then I had a great conversation at my lowest point where I made a variety of connections to my past which helped me break free of the chokehold of my emotions and see the situation with new eyes. I developed a strategy which helped me win my confidence back. Yesterday I faced my fears and the situation head-on with this new confidence, and I found that the scorpion had lost its sting. The venom wasn't poisonous to me any more. I could walk away with my head held high, knowing I won't be hurt again by this particular thorny situation.
It was extraordinary to experience that freedom. The person I was dealing with stayed exactly the same. They had not changed, nor granted an inch towards reconciliation, but it didn't matter because I had changed. I was no longer afraid or emotionally invested in the problem anymore. It all somehow ceased to matter to me. I know I only arrived at that wonderful point by walking through the fire, by not turning around at the worst point, and by committing to see the process through to the end. It was worth it to experience that freedom yesterday, and know that I brought it about for myself. The next time I'm in a tough place I'll remember this time, and tell myself to stay the course, finish the process, and learn the lesson it has for me.