And a New Direction #131
As you may know, I recently returned from a 13-day road trip with my daughter, son-in-law, and their two dogs. We visited three National Parks: Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton - then stayed with my son and his family in Salt Lake City.
Each park was unique and beautiful in its own way.
At Glacier, we walked along the water’s edge, had a picnic lunch, and saw a bear. The lake and the falls were breathtaking.
At Yellowstone, I saw Mammoth Springs for the first time, a herd of bison stopped traffic for an hour, and a Mama elk chased my son-in-law when he got too close while taking a picture.
The Grand Teton Mountains were majestic. The weather was lovely despite the weather forecast.
Before you think how idyllic - let me add that this was about a 1500-mile drive sprinkled with mishaps. Twenty miles into the trip, we had a minor traffic accident. There were long days of driving and numerous stops at charging stations because we were in an electric vehicle, the dogs were sometimes uncomfortable, we got colds, and our accommodations were sometimes less than optimal. Even so, it was a remarkable experience.
While the trip itself was amazing, something else happened that was equally awesome. I read three books on the long driving stretches. All of which I picked randomly - or so I thought. But their combined message was loud and rejuvenating.
The first book, The Tiny Buddha Inner Strength Journal, reminded me that,
I was focusing on what I should or would have done differently. But I wasn’t giving myself credit for what I did do and the courage it took to manage difficult situations and build a new life.
I was dwelling on problems - often feeling like a victim and angry with me. A better option would be to stop worrying about what I can’t control and focus on what I can.
I was reading Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway for the second time. Its message was
Focus more on the positive and less on the negative.
Trust in myself and view mistakes as part of a learning process.
But it was the third book, Look For Me There, written by Luke Russert, the 30-year-old son of Tim Russert, an American television journalist and lawyer who moderated Meet the Press for years before dying in 2008 that helped me “right the ship.”
In the book, Luke chronicles his three-year worldwide journey to overcome the loss of his father and find himself.
His words voiced my thoughts in many ways and showed me a path forward.
These quotes spoke to me.
“I realize how much I miss the man. Not just Dad’s love, his presence, his care to see me succeed, but all the things that were a scheduled and set part of my life.”
I miss Dan in that way - he was such a huge part of my life for seventy years.
“All the doubt and self-loathing I’ve subjected myself to - does Dad hear it? I sob. I understand amid the crying that there’s something Dad wants to tell me ‘you’re fine, Luke, This is what you should be doing right now.”
I’ve been hard on myself about many things. If Dan heard my doubts and self-criticism, he would be confused and say, “you are doing just fine.”
Luke said, “When he died my rock was gone.” But he realized, “You don’t need the rock of Dad, you can forge your own rock. I am my own person I need not to look to others for guidance. I need to start noticing the voice within.”
Dan was my rock, and he is gone. Maybe, I don’t need to look to others for guidance. Perhaps, it’s time to listen to me - to be my rock.
“I don’t have to seek permission from him it’s ok. Of course he approves. He wants me to reach this self-reliance. He was asking me to lead my own life.”
Someone always took care of me - first my parents, then Dan. It’s time for me to take care of me and be self-reliant.
“Dad I’ll never lose you because you are here no matter what. I don’t have to look for you. Your love is within me.”
I choose to believe that I will never lose Dan and his love is within me - forever.
I’ve been moving in this direction for a while. Since the trip, I’m giving myself permission to trust myself more, to take charge in a way I hadn’t been able to, and to live my life - with Dan’s love tucked firmly in my heart. It feels like a turning point.
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