“The past is a guide post, not a hitching post.” –L. Thomas Holdcroft

True or false: grasshoppers can only leap forward?

Today I’m taking my cues from the grasshopper. Why, you may be wondering? Today they made their presence known to me on my walk. I am enamored by the desert grasshoppers that I find here in contrast to the ones in the Midwest. These grasshoppers are so camouflaged, they blend right into the pavement and are easy to miss. However, the first one perched exactly in the middle of my walking path. I have learned to keep my eyes and ears open as I walk. This little one let me take a picture of it. Later down the way, a second one crossed my path. When the third one appeared, it jumped straight in front of me and right up onto a wall next to me. By this time I was thoroughly cracking up. Happy with the achievement, they stayed posed on the wall, so they got a photo with me too! I said to myself, “There is no doubt I am supposed to pay attention to what grasshoppers have to say to me today!” This brings me back to the beginning.

It is a true fact the grasshoppers can only leap forward. They can’t go back. It made me think about my past and the leaps forward I’ve made and how it has been a bittersweet journey. There are certainly things I would do differently if I knew then what I do now. But, I didn’t know then.

To throw out the past or pretend it didn’t happen won’t get us healthier in our recovery. It is my past that got me to the present. My past has not been wasted. For one, I would not do everything differently back then. I have treasured memories I wouldn’t give up for anything. The deepest regrets I have from the past are the ones where I know hurt loved ones.

I have consciously made amends to all I could. I open doors for healing in an ongoing way as much as possible. None of this can happen if I don’t continue to do self inspections and the inner work. Although difficult, the hardest part for me has not been forgiving others in my past, but learning to forgive myself. To face those things I’d rather not, about me. Yet, I realize it opens up a capacity to love myself with some gentleness. In turn, I can offer more to others.

As we heal our past in the present, it opens up the space to leap forward, like my grasshopper friends, into the future with faith. We also bring forward the resolute courage it takes to continue to do our inner work to heal the past. As we do, we spread a trickle of wisdom into the world each time.

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.