Saturday, 29 October 2011

Keep Going Forward, However Slowly

Sometimes, we cannot avoid standing face to face with ourselves. Seeing all that we are and seeing all within us that we cannot celebrate.

Barriers are built strong and high. Feelings are strangled or rationalised to death. Perhaps those barriers were necessary in the past, to protect us from some grim realities we could not safely confront. Perhaps they solidify to the point of lingering much longer than is healthy for us.

Yet, feelings and emotions are colossal forces and refuse to be cast aside completely. They might not enjoy the immediate attention they deserve but they will steadfastly hang around, waiting for their time to scream louder than they originally might have.

When we look within ourselves, we wonder how much of who we are was decided long ago. How much change we can effect. How far removed from the past we can become. How many of the same mistakes we are destined to continue making.

Our backs might feel bent by our burdens. Our memories filled with those we have hurt, those who hurt us and those who touched our lives but are now no longer part of it.

Life might seem to continue to deal us bad cards. Reminding ourselves that there are always others in a worse situation and of the blessings in our lives might sometimes not do the trick. Compassion and gratitude might not always win through.

Ultimately, we must discard any attachment to the notion of fairness. There will never be any solace possible in clinging on to such a concept.

We cannot get back what is lost. We cannot undo the hurt we caused. We cannot travel back in time and alter the past. We are a melting pot of our experiences and our decisions. The dice have been rolled.

The future might be full of fear. The past full of regrets. The will to carry on might be weak. The outlook may seem bleak.

And yet, the path only goes in one direction.

We must keep going forward, however slowly.


  1. Barry, this post reminds me of a quote I wrote down many years ago, when first battling with illness: "There is no justice, there is only life."

    I must look it up and see if I can find the source.

    Amy x

  2. OK, so I misremembered it. It was from the famous feminist novel, The Women's Room, by Marilyn French, and the exact quote is, "There was no justice, there was only life. And life she had."

  3. what can i say that hasn't already been said here? i relish the raw honestly of this post. choosing to move forward is to be admired when one is so overcome with grief. wish healing could be faster.

  4. This resonates with me. This sense of stuckness, of being unable to effect the world around me, and more importantly me.

    The more exhausted I am the more I live in that horrid space of constant self analysis, where my memory throws up moments of gracelessness that I beat myself with. It is like being perpetually hungover and tormenting yourself with the stupid things you have said and done and the hurtful things done to you.

    I think we underestimate our speed of moving forward, as we appear to the eye not to move at all. But Fartingham, we move way faster than healthy people, we grow way faster, and we change hugely. But our physical stillness belies it.


  5. Healing takes as long as it takes.....cant be rushed...part of the process ...but you do have a load of people here who'll be there for you

  6. Photo says everything .... been sitting here staring it

  7. Hi Barry, the bit about letting go of the idea of fairness got me. Because i was undiagnosed for so many years i just thought my burden had been singled out to be a hard one. I railed against the unfairness of it. Why did i have to work so hard just to get through the day when others around me seemed to sail through. I suspected i was lazy, a malingerer, a nobody going nowhere, despite the fact that i was constantly striving so hard...
    Yesterday, before reading your post, i realised that i had stopped the "It's not fair" mantra in my head. I realised that i am not constantly judging myself because i finally know I AM ILL! And i do still have a life.
    Thank you so much for always writing so honestly, you help me enormously through your posts and even though we have never met know that i am here for you too.
    Justine xx