Moving Forward, Looking Backward


The trail is treacherous. Lots of curves and switchbacks. I’m not able to see what’s coming around the next corner.

There are lots of rocks to twist and sprain an ankle, lots of ruts and holes to step in and break a leg, and lots of branches and sticks reaching out to trip me up.

No matter how fast I move down the trail, I can still sense it back there somewhere. I can just about hear it coming. Maybe feeling and sensing the disaster, feeling the vibrations in the ground of some big rock slide, or monstrous avalanche.

I’m stumbling along as fast as I can. Not gracefully descending the steep downhill trail like a large feline, strong and confident in each and every move. But lumbering down like a big out of control human, not used to this kind of terrain. Barely able to keep my two feet under me as the momentum is dragging me down. But I want to go faster, I want to outrun the disaster that seems to be relentlessly chasing me down.

It’s back there, I can feel it. I can hear it. I can damn near see it.

But as I lumber down the path, always looking over my shoulder, I don’t see the terrible danger ahead of me. The fate that awaits me if I don’t regain control.

Mountain lion descendingI need to slow down and be aware of my steps forward. There’s nothing I can do about what’s already behind me. But I can control of how I traverse what’s ahead of me. I can start to travel the path ahead more like that strong feline, the large panther or mountain lion. Strong and graceful, able to move along no matter how unsteady the path ahead.

The biggest thing that I can do to keep the complications from chasing me down, is to be conscious and careful about the steps I take moving forward from here on out.

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13 thoughts on “Moving Forward, Looking Backward

  1. I keep coming back to this post. I love the imagery and I guess it reminds me a little of my own struggles. While you run full tilt downhill without looking where you’re going, I stay stuck in my swamp not moving much at all.

    In sticking with your metaphor, I think sometimes you have to do more than slow down. You need to stop for a bit and really look around you. Are you on the path you want to be on at all? Have you checked your direction lately? Is there a better and clearly marked trail just over a bit? I can get so used to traveling the same direction, whether I’m going fast or slow, that I forget there might be better paths entirely.

  2. Scott,

    This is completely 100% not at all related to your post but it IS very important.

    I keep trying to send you an email asking for your mailing address so I can send you a holiday card, but the mailing system hates me and it keeps rejecting my email. Help! Please email me your mailing address A.S.A.P.

    Thanks!

  3. wow scott. that is beautiful writing you got there. man I know how you feel. It seems like no matter how hard you try to be careful about what steps you take you always take the wrong steps that lead you in the wrong direction.

  4. Absolutely – “There’s nothing We can do about what is aready behind US! But WE can be in control of how WE traverse what is ahead of US.” as you so eloquently expressed it, but this applies to all of us. You, me and the 7 comments before mine are in unanimous agreement. Yet it is easier to forgive others, than yourself.

  5. We are the choices that we make. Our values are most closely revealed not in what we say but in what we do. Make a different choice today if you want different results from yesterday……

    These are some things I learned in treatment that this post reminded me of.

    Have a good christmas scott!

  6. This reminds me of Joni Mitchell, who sang, “you can’t return, you can only look behind from where you came, and go ’round and ’round and ’round, in the circle game”. Maybe the next time you come full circle to a place where you need to make a choice in something that affects your control, you can choose differently than when you were in that same place before.
    And, we all can make better decisions because we all continue to grow in strength, courage, and wisdom – that’s the gift of being alive.
    It sounds like one of the big cats might be your “power animal” – I have several Native American friends and they would agree – what a great symbol.

  7. Scott you are awesome. I love this post. We all can benefit from this kind of attitude in everything.
    So I guess from here forward we need to give you a name like….hmmm…Stealthy Scott? Scott the sure footed? I will work on it. =)

  8. Great post. As a parent of a child with D, it’s always interesting to get the other perspective. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  9. That is a great visual. We need to take our time and tread carefully to avoid any complications. Such a great post man! I love it.

    I am gonna go with a Ninja moves instead of feline if you don’t mind!