looking back to move forward

8-back-in-time-PhotographyThis morning when I woke I made my coffee, sat in my new favorite place in the house (in front of the fireplace) and I decided to log into my "OLD' Facebook account; the one I had before I created a new one a couple of years ago. I don't know what made me look back on that old account, but I have learned over time that when something speaks to me, it will always have some kind of a meaning or impact; a message for me to learn and grow from - and it did both hard and good.

For over an hour I read old status messages, looking through old photos I posted from 2008 - 2012. I read through all the wonderful messages friends wrote on my wall and the interactions, and fun times I had with the people who I feel are dormant in my life right now.

It was bittersweet, and truly made me realize how hard the past 2 years have been for me. There are places in these 2 years I have grown emotionally, but how Isolated I have become to the things I loved once before.

I read how active I was with the people in my life. I read how energetic I was and how SPUNK filled I was going here and going there on trips with friends, and working out at the gym! I was active and living life to the fullest and it made me sad because these past 2 years have been nothing close to what life was like just 2 years ago.

I have gone silent in some ways. I have turned my back and walked away from many things and people who meant a lot to me and not because I don't love them, but because I didn't know how to be around those wonderful people feeling the way I was feeling - going through what I have been going through.

Reading through all those years and looking through all those photos made me realize just how much I have isolated and sometimes in order to move forward, we need to look back, and like with everything else, God always finds a way to show up in my life to show me something that I really needed to see... and this morning instead of going to church (like I used to love to do), he said "look Karen, this is where you were, and maybe it's time to take steps forward not to where you were, but to a new kind of the old".

In the past 2 years I have grown emotionally in different ways, but I did it away from the people and things I love and adore. Instead of growing with them, I went and isolated myself.

I turned my back to my close friends and my church family because I didn't know how to be "NOT OKAY" in front of those who see me as being strong, full of life, energetic and fun-loving! Instead of asking all of the people in my life for help, I turned and walked away from them.

Not only did I walk away from people, but I walked away from the things I love to do and be. Reading through all those moments I had for years before I started to isolate was like looking int the life of another person yet I know it's me. It was surreal and sad.

So as I sat there for hours this morning looking through all those old moments, I also forced myself to realize that the work I am doing now is GOOD and I am connecting in ways I haven't connected before, I just need to find a way to connect back to those who I love and love me back and let it be okay that I have had a very 2 hard years, that maybe it's okay that I wasn't strong enough.

It was hair-raising to sit there and see everything there in front of me of how it was, and where I have been the past 2 years. It truly made me sad. But like my therapist said to me just Friday "we are working hard towards getting you back" and not only getting me back, but stronger than I was, and I am getting there.

These past 2 years have been full of heartache, anger, unsureness, depression, isolation.. I have been frustrated, and also had some physical issues!

It has been a whirlwind of a 2 years and looking back on where I was over 2 years ago; it makes me want to fight harder to get back there, but not as I was, but as the stronger me with new wisdom and healing I found in this isolation.

I would hate to think that the past 2 years were meant to happen, it's not the lesson I would like to grow from, but sometimes it's the harder times that helps us to grow into a different place. Maybe those years I looked back on this morning was not the place God had planned for me - maybe I needed to see something bigger out of the hard. Maybe I needed to isolate for 2 years to find something bigger than me - I just wish it didn't cause me to turn my back on so many things I loved and loved me back.

The past 2 weeks in therapy with my therapist have been some of the best work I have done in the 7 years I have been working along side with him and my healing path. He has helped me to see that I can connect and lean in and not do it alone - that I can talk about big stuff and not be ashamed or protect others and their feelings. It hasn't been easy, but there is healing somewhere in this.

I have learned more in the past 2 weeks about acceptance of support and letting someone else guide the boat instead of me always doing it myself. It has been a challenge I tell you that, but I see something, and maybe this good work is what caused me to look back on the hard stuff this morning.

So I keep taking steps like I have been, little by little each day both emotionally and physically, and maybe it's not about getting back to where I was, but more so going forward bringing along all the things I loved and loved me back.