I came across this poem by the incredible David Whyte and it describes so perfectly those paralyzing moments when you just can't imagine which direction your life will take. Nothing seems right any more. Nobody seems who you thought they were. But as Whyte reminds us, "there is no path that goes all the way". Instead, focus on breathing. Focus on that first step – nobody's step but your own. Whyte, I believe, is talking about death, but betrayal is a death. Of our hopes. Of our "reality". Of our perceived future. Mourn that. And then recreate your life.
No Path by David Whyte
There is no path that goes all the way
Not that it stops us looking
for the full continuation.
The one line in the poem we can start and follow straight to the end.
The fixed belief we can hold,
facing a stranger that saves us the trouble of a real conversation.
But one day you are not just imagining an empty chair
where your loved one sat. You are not just telling a story
where the bridge is down and there’s nowhere to cross.
You are not just trying to pray to a God you imagined would keep you safe.
No you’ve come to the place where nothing you’ve done
will impress and nothing you can promise will avert
the silent confrontation, the place where
your body already seems to know the way having kept
to the last its own secret reconnaissance.
But still, there is no path that goes all the way
one conversation leads to another
one breath to the next until
there’s no breath at all
just the inevitable final release of the burden.
And then your life will have to start all over again for you to know even a little of who you had been.