Footprints on the Sands of Time

Every day, I start my morning reading the Daily Meditations for Adult Children of Alcoholics. I have used this for forty plus years. When I don’t, my thinking gets off track. My mom and two brothers are the alcoholics. Until I began writing, I didn’t realize how their habits affected my life and interactions with people. Addiction hurts more than the user, folks. It hurts everyone in their path.

Somehow, I escaped the family curse. I drink, yes. But I can just as easily live without it. I needed help with understanding my worth, my value, my right to respect. The more I learn, I want to help other people learn this earlier in their lives. It certainly can’t hurt.

Today’s meditation hit home for me. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote:

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time.

Some day, we will all leave this earth. What will your time on this earth reflect? Have you done your best to live a good life? Have you helped your fellow humans? Have you instilled God’s love in others by your presence?

What we say and do affects other people. What do your children overhear? Are you in a difficult situation that could harm you or them? Can you find help? Sadly, many never ask. We cannot be too embarrassed to ask for help, especially where lives are concerned. Despite what your abuser tells you to control you, YOU ARE WORTH IT! Every bit of you. Believe it. Live it.

Until I learned my truth, after a near paralyzing tumor in my spinal column, I accepted being “put in my place.” I could be cut down by words, a look, and especially by being ignored. Somehow, I learned I was worth better treatment. I was 43 years old before I learned I was worth it. Instead of “Here Goes Nothing,” I can now say, “Here Comes Something!” I’m proud of the woman I’ve fought hard to become. It’s hard for me sometimes to say that. It’s conditioning. I’ve been living the lie that no longer controls me. I have a second chance at life and happiness. The last 25 years have been how I’ve always imagined life should be.

I want to be an encourager. I want to be a good friend. I want to have a positive outlook and enjoy what God has graced me with. Some days I’m “off.” Not sure why, except that I’m human. That’s a fact of our lives. We fail sometimes. We can correct ourselves gently and act better. It’s all we can do. Encourage, don’t discourage.

I’ve been looking back at where my footsteps have taken me. A lot of crazy places with some crazy people. I learned what I didn’t want. That made my quest for a different life and future more important to me. I believe I was made differently so I could change myself and my life to love it instead of being angry, sad, feeling left out, and isolated. A neighbor noticed and once told me, “You never smiled before. Now you smile all the time.” I hadn’t realized how feeling stuck affected me.

Our actions and words do matter. We cannot hide everything from some people. They can see through facades. I learned to drop mine, they really didn’t offer much protection except in my mind. The Babe saw through my hurt. He helped me learn many things. To trust. To love fully. To be a partner, not a slave. To remember I’m important, too. To reach for my stars. And he is cheering me on. Thanks, Babe! I thank God every day and night for you.

It’s never too late to change direction in life. We have the freedom to do so. We need to make possibilities choices when changing direction. It will affect other people. Choose wisely. Leave footprints of encouraging example. Let’s all try together!

Thanks for reading today, I appreciate it. We will see each other tomorrow! Enjoy the beautiful day if you’re here in eastern Nebraska. It’s lovely outside! Be Kind. Be Courteous, too.

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