In this life, as many of us mutter through the difficulty born from the chronic effects of tragedy, deeply held regret, betrayal, and profound disappointment in the circumstances, people, and systems all around us, we can also find hope in the knowledge that we are all – if we are ready for it and seeking it – on a collision course with an equal and opposite (or even better) reality.
This is the concept of personal restoration. The process can take days, weeks, months, or decades, but restoration is developing and forming in ways and through people and circumstances you simply cannot imagine. For me, the process was nothing short of a miracle.
As a coach, having spoken with hundreds of people over the past decade, I’ve learned that no one gets through life without a few scars – at a minimum. Today, as we pass each other in the hallways, sidewalks, and streets of our hometowns, few of us understand the depth of the emotional (and physical) scars and resulting shadows nearly each of us battle daily. From childhood abuse (physical or otherwise), family tragedy, personal loss or betrayal, to PTS for those who have come home from war (and those who have lived through violence) – we are all struggling to process and manage these deeply powerful issues.
Alcohol and drug use as self-medication strategies has become epidemic, as is the rate at which veterans and teens are taking their own lives. We are smack dab in the middle of a cultural crisis, and for many there is no end in sight. The scars and the resulting shadows they cast across our individual perspectives can be all encompassing.
The influence of these scars (and shadows they cast) often creates a kind of gravity that sets in motion a personal orbit around which life becomes fixed. Far too few of us are truly aware of this gravity and resulting orbit in our lives, and in that lack of awareness, we allow the underlying influences of our personal orbit to (in many ways) shape our ongoing perspective and our resulting choices.
Ironically, those things we despise most about our personal experience are, in many ways, the things that are most in control of our perspective, choice process, and future prospects.
Think of the concept of a personal orbit in this way – your most powerful scars are the sun, and you are the earth. In essence and practice, your life may be inextricably anchored to an orbit around the thing you detest most about your past.
Who wants to be held hostage in an orbit around the things that we despise most?
Who wants the orbit we’re trapped within to create a kind of keyhole perspective – where everything we experience is captured by the gravity of the past and pushed through the narrow filter of our shadowy, personal orbit?
However, without a massive shift in awareness, we are all left to orbit the same path, influenced by the same scars of our past (and the compounding experiences of the present seen through the tiny keyhole perspective we allow ourselves).
However, if we can gain awareness of the influence our scars have upon our current orbit and outlook, we can begin to manage our perspective (and our conclusions/decisions/actions) about the circumstances and events of our lives.
In this, we can break free from our orbit and the gravity of the past, and begin to see life through the broad view of unfolding possibility and endless opportunity.
Once awareness is achieved, the task of managing ourselves becomes a daily exercise – one in which we embrace each new day and seek to discover the unfolding chapters of our personal restoration being formed all around us. Believe it or not, it’s happening now.
Break free and open yourself to the very real possibility that the miraculous is all around you. Embrace the idea that you may be living in a small orbit of limited potential, and dig deep to fully discover the issues that still have a powerful gravity over your life. You can do this. It’s time. As a coach and advocate, I pray you discover the collision course you are on with your personal restoration and make the most of it. I know it’s developing and forming even now – don’t miss it.
Open your eyes.