I was driving today when a song came on that reminded me of a specific person. We were friends for a while…until we weren’t anymore. Something happened…the relationship was lost…and sometimes, I miss them.
The violin playing during the second half of the chorus is one of those times.
I used to think that I was good at friendship. I used to think that I had something to offer. Until an avalanche of hurt came along and buried this belief I had about myself. Until I was left holding broken pieces of everything I knew to be true. Until I let seeds of self-doubt slip between my fingers and cover the ground beneath me.
Eventually, the seasons changed…but those seeds began to grow and weeds began to rise. Those weeds slowly wrapped themselves around my limbs and ultimately, they tied me to a new truth; the one that said I wasn’t worth anything as a friend anymore. The one that said I had fallen short of being enough.
I have struggled to navigate my way through friendship ever since. I have struggled to stand strong in them. I have struggled to trust them. I have struggled to believe that I deserve them.
And then, there’s this time of year…
That time when the ground is thawing and the earth is rising. That time when the temperature is warm but the air is still cool. That time when it’s not quite winter but it’s not quite spring. It’s vulnerable and messy and raw. It’s the time of year that makes my emotions run wide and my memories run deep.
For a long time now, I’ve stared at the footprints around me and counted each one as a mark of failure on my part. A mark of inadequacy. A mark of rejection.
And each year, as the snow begins to melt, I notice them again; the imprints of everything I couldn’t make right. But this year I also noticed something else; I noticed that I hadn’t made any footprints of my own. Because I had never moved…I had never stepped forward…I had never walked away from the pain.
When others were done punishing me for my failures…I had simply picked up where they had left off.
And it made me wonder…how long can any one person remain entangled in a truth that someone else hands them?
Spring is about renewal…about growth…about claiming your rightful place in this world. It’s about rising from the ground and standing tall in honour of who you have fought to be.
It’s about changing.
I’ve decided that I would like my Spring to be about untying myself from the weeds that have held me hostage for so long…about forgiving everything I was never able to be…about hearing that beautiful song and knowing that I did the very best that I could with all that I had.
Because, in our frailty of being human…we will end up failing others. But, when we don’t make footprints of our own…we will end up failing ourselves.