As I watched the news this morning, I listened to the coverage of the recent tightrope walker in Chicago. Unable to see it first hand on television, I looked forward to hearing the interview. Being a person who hates heights, picturing myself in his position terrified me. His view from high above the streets was something I never hoped to experience. Yet, I was intrigued to see what attracted him to such a sport.
A reporter asked him if he had been nervous as he moved on the wire, free from tethers and safety nets. His reply was that there was no room for nerves or fear. They would only distract him from his objective – to walk the length of that wire safely, from one end to the other.
The wind during his walk seemed to be less than ideal for his circumstances. They played part of the commentary he gave while walking. At one point, it showed he had planned to stop to take a “selfie” photo. However, due to the wind and movement of the wire beneath his feet, he opted to keep going. It seemed the risk was not worth his planned picture. I smiled when he mentioned this since I saw the whole ordeal as a huge risk.
He made one final comment, informing the audience that he was from several generations of tightrope walkers. He seemed to be conveying the importance of continuing that tradition. He thought of that vocation as a gift that was enjoyable.
There are similarities and lessons we can learn from this man as we walk through our grief. In order to make it to the other side of our sadness and missing our loved ones, it is important that we never lose sight of the goal. Keeping our focus on the objective of slowly but surely feeling better and healing over the next weeks, months and years can be motivation to move us forward.
We do not want to feel lost and alone forever. Having the impression of falling and losing control is miserable. Remember that scripture tells us we can do anything we are called to do with the help of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 4:13) Fear will only slow us down. Make the choice not to give in to it.
While we move through our days, we may have one plan in mind only to find it necessary to change in order to continue our journey. Just like our Chicago walker chose not to risk the “selfie” photo to assure he remained safe, we too may need to re-evaluate to balance things in our lives. Not every idea we have is a good one or in our best interest. Be wise enough to know when to alter and adjust to the events life may blow your way.
Our Chicago walker came from a long line of tightrope walkers. He had learned the skill from a very early age, with people investing in him and teaching him along the way. I realize that I am blessed to have grown up with people telling me how much I am valued and loved. My hope is that you hear this too. The importance of having people in your corner offering wisdom and encouragement is enormous. No one should have to walk the journey of grief alone. If you are at a point when you feel isolated and by yourself, reach out for help. Contact a church, a friend, or the Grief Share organization.
If you feel yourself teetering a little today, take a moment, and focus your eyes on your goal. Be open to asking for and receiving help, so you can continue forward.
Until next time –