Progress: ‘the forward or onward movement towards a destination.’
We can never be perfect. Our lives will always be a work in progress. And progress takes time. Life brings innumerable challenges. Some are minor setbacks that we manage to overcome without too much difficulty. Other challenges we face feel more like mountains, rising up before us like almighty, unconquerable beasts. They fill us with a sense of dread and offer no easy path around or through them. We tremble inside at the mere thought of the climb, fearing we will end up scathed or exhausted. We might not even know where to place our first step.
Remember that these worries and fears are natural. Throughout our lifetimes we will all encounter things that cause us to grapple with difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions, which might threaten to overwhelm us. Be gentle with yourself. A mountain can only be climbed one step at a time. Each step is as important as the last, and the next one to come. If you don’t know where to start, ask someone for help. Not every challenge can be conquered on our own. Sometimes we just need a bit of encouragement and advice to set us on our way.
As you start your climb, be mindful that there may be times where you find yourself feeling tired, despondent or hopeless. Don’t be discouraged by this. Progress is rarely straightforward and linear. We may need pause, step back, reroute or double back on ourselves. It’s not easy finding a way into new things. Part of the conditions of change, transformation and growth is that they challenge us. We cannot hope for things to be different without accepting that ‘difference’ also means loss and letting go. When we move onwards, we inevitably leave things behind us.
Understandably this can bring up painful feelings, and in the face of change and the unknown we may get a strong urge to turn back and retreat. Remember to be compassionate to the part of you that feels scared and vulnerable, and that it takes courage and strength to do what you’re doing. No matter which point of the mountain you happen to find yourself at, take time to appreciate and reward yourself for being exactly where you are. In choosing to keep going you are choosing your self-worth, your value, your unique talents and capabilities, and your potential. In other words, you are choosing yourself.
Never forget that you are worth your own investment. Those doubts you harbour in your mind are not your truth. You are singularly wonderful and forever irreplaceable, and nothing can ever take this away from you. Your existence matters, and in the very act of choosing to live, you are making progress. Day by day, and step by step, your mountain will start to become the making of you.