“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
I don’t know about you but I like to know what’s ahead of me. I appreciate having the awareness of what to expect and the feeling of control that comes with it. Even when it’s a goal I’ve set for myself, I want to know the big picture, the plan, the motions and everything in store for me. People call me a dreamer because I always walk into my goals and challenges with the belief that I’m going to be in control and the hope that the detailed plan I’ve laid out will be followed stage by stage to completion. I’ll be very honest and say I am constantly devastated when life curve balls happen and my expectations are shattered. Life in 2020 has been a perfect example of expectation versus reality for the world. Each year we walk into January with goals, expectations and so full of hope… maybe it was just me but something about the year 2020 felt so much grander. Images of the amazing things that I would accomplish, the trips my family would be taking, the goals big and small, like a child the night before Christmas. And then reality or life or chaos (whatever you want to call it) came along and 2020 has turned into one hot mess after another. I’ve found myself in a darkened hallway at the bottom of a staircase that I can’t actually see which will take me to a place I’m completely blind to.
All I have in front of me is one single step. It’s a well-worn step, clearly taken by many before me and that alone is reassurance for me to pick up my bedraggled foot and claim it for my own. That one step is hope. It is courage. It may lead anywhere or everywhere or maybe nowhere but I won’t know until I take it. Then suddenly the next step comes into focus and the courage surrounded by hope makes taking it so much easier. Martin Luther King was a dreamer – much like me – and his wisdom here rings in my ears as I walk into the unseen one tiny step at a time. Are you facing a similar staircase or situation that is cloudy and unseen? Take the step. It’s just one and that means you can’t see so far ahead that you forget to be present where you are. Step into faith in yourself, claim the courage, and wrap yourself in hope. Take the step.
Sarah Deats is a Behavioral Health Technician at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer.