Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Far Will You Go?

I was listening to a radio program the other day featuring a guy who lost the use of his legs in a horrible cycling accident. After spending a year grieving the loss of the life he thought was his, he had a moment with his father in which the two just held each other and cried. And then his father whispered something in his ear: How far will you go?
How far will you go? What a question, huh? Not, what are you going to do about this? Not, how will you handle things? But...how far will you go? Less a question than a challenge. A challenge to face the future with grit and hope but also a declaration of confidence and support. With those words, that dad wasn't just encouraging his son to look forward rather than back. He was telling his son that there were still big dreams out there for the taking...and that he believed in his son's ability to seize them. He realized that nothing was going to bring back the use of his legs – at least not in the same way – but that just because his future looked different than he thought, that didn't mean worse. It just meant...different.
And so he set about re-igniting the passions he'd always had for physical exertion and achieving goals. He swam the English channel, competed in the Olympics, got married and, in the process, developed humility and gratitude.
We're all on a hero's journey. Every single one of us. We strive. We fall down. We lose our way. But at each juncture, we have a choice. To accept where we are with no hope for change, or to realistically assess our circumstances and fight for our lives. Maybe not the lives we thought were ours...but the lives we can still have if we ask ourselves just how far we will go.


  1. The parallels are amazing. I felt like I was reading my husband's journey since dday. He felt hopeless and as if his life was over. Of course he was broken in the first place but he found himself so unsure of what to do with anything in his life. On dday I was shocked and all sense of reality disappeared. It was the hardest time of my life as you all know. Reading this and looking at it where I am now is how my husband felt along our recovery. And I think the real relief came when I forgave him. There was a lot of work and a few pivotal conversations leading up to me forgiving him. His change has been dramatic. Holidays like the 4th and other milestones really remind both of us. We got home last night after fireworks be we both almost said at the same time how thankful and amazed we are at our place we find ourselves. Last year at this time we were working on it all but not at all where we are now. I was still a mess and struggling big time and he has not disclosed some major information to me. He was still in damage control mode and hoping to lessen my pain. But I am glad for holidays and milestones since it is easy to start to forget how bad I felt. Last year on the 4th I do not even remember why but it was related to the affairs I remember the night before just crying for so long and him holding me. It was nothing specific.

    Thank you Elle and everyone in this site. You all helped me through the rough parts and allowed me to open up to my husband, and I think it was your post on grace that has stuck with me a lot. In time I want able to move past the anger and bitterness and allow us to move forward. Thank you for helping me!

  2. I second what Hopeful 30 said. Thank you Elle for your loving kindness to all of us. Beach Girl

  3. I'm reaching for the moon and stars and so far my h is reaching in the same direction! We've made so much progress since last year at this time! We've had plenty of ups and downs along the way but we are slowly getting back to our comfortable togetherness. I'm still triggered at times but it gets less often and not so hard to deal with! I'm with hopeful 30, this blog and everyone who is telling their stories here have given me my strength to keep moving forward! Forever grateful!

  4. How far can I go? I'm not the same after his bump & grind field trips. Not being the same is like glittering misery. Being, feeling, thinking, safe sucks. What am I capable of? What are my limitations? Hey world put me to the test, I'm living in a false reality anyway. Fooling myself that my marriage really didn't suck. Fooling myself by staying too quiet. Fooling myself by accepting less. Fooling myself by not demanding more. Fooling myself that our expenses were higher but not finding why. Fooling myself that I didn't deserve better. Fooling myself by doing things for others I didn't want to do. There is a reason why eventually I turned into a mad non-caring hypercritical bitch. I'm looking at him right now. It took several decades.

    Rejection told me I wasn't good enough. Good looking. Good in bed. Fun to be with. Smart. I was moral good enough there, but look how far that got me. I was a dynamite on the professional scene because I had nothing or no one to go home to.

    My fear is from what I thought about myself. I could act like I could run a marathon but not really. I had been rejected before most of my life. So this dove-tailed perfectly into past fears so either I was feeling too much or feeling too little. My situation looked more dangerous because of my past experience but probably wasn't.

    I had to look at myself and see where I wanted to go. I didn't have a shell shocked idea. I just waited to see since I really didn't know who I was since I allowed myself to be bent and twisted by the people's wishes who, I loved and thought loved me. After 2 years of therapy I think I finally know more about my core beliefs, what I value, what I don't. I have learned I put people I love on a pedestal who shouldn't have been there over and over. I was naturally disappointed when they fell and went through the rejection process again. I learned most of all, that disappointments are part of my life. Bump & grind field trips are unfortunately part of my life. Anything bad can happen. Healing from the bump & grind field is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have experienced trauma before but not like this.

    I have come far down the healing road. But I appreciate what I learned about myself that I didn't know. How far? I have been down the farthest road ever but I have changed. I developed coping skills not perfect but getting there. Self esteem. Assertion. Communication of needs. The list is endless. I don't want to go back to that other woman ever. I look at my H who has changed so much in many ways, his list is endless too. My sister who said I should get a divorced at first, told me last week, you got a gem. I almost gagged. I'm the happiest I have ever been my friends with my life and marriage. I really don't want to say it but it is the truth. It feels better to me to wallow around.

    Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.



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