Sometimes, my best effort fails
It looked so perfect. It was so perfect!
I’d thought I would surprise my husband and (ugh) stack all of the firewood in the pile at the top of our driveway. He would come home to the ever-so-welcome empty space.
The task was Herculean – bend, toss, heave the wheelbarrow across the back yard to the pile, bend, place – each piece in criss-cross fashion, the “right” way. So much work. Such satisfaction.
Till the next morning.
Greeted by the sight above.
HOW? The base had been there for years – plenty of time for all necessary settling. It just didn’t make sense. “How could I have wasted all that time – nearly an entire day.” “Wasted.” “Ruined.” “How dumb.” “How stupid.” The self-critique just rolled.
Then I saw it.
When I looked closer. What I hadn’t seen at first.
On either side of the collapse, the correctly stacked pile remained intact. Just as it was designed to (“proper” for a reason). I hadn’t seen that at first – hadn’t framed the disaster in that wider context: the context of the whole, at first not always recognized.
I sometimes focus on what turn out to be small parts of the whole. I don’t always see the whole context; the good in it. The silver lining if you will.
How much better things seem to go when I am able to see the positive aspect of a not-so-positive situation, or at least to acknowledge that there is one, for me to discover eventually. Even some of the most horrid experiences have redeemed themselves with golden lessons and opportunities which would not have presented had I not gone through that trial. Oh, if only I could remember this always.
So it goes in the therapy room: overwhelming situations and disastrous results are shared, potential alternatives and perspectives explored. Then often what feels like the crack of sunlight on a dismal day – something one hadn’t considered before: there is more to the scenario – “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say on his radio show (yes, I’m dating myself). Redemption. The process, lifelong.