Ignore the Two Steps Back

One step forward, two steps back.

One step forward, two steps back.

One step for……


I know, already!



Yet I can be found grumbling, kicking rocks and beating myself up with each one of those steps taken back.


My cheerleader voice says:

“Focus on the progress.”

“See how far you’ve come.”

“Hello, Girl!  You are way better off now than you were five years ago!”

“It’s okay to slip up once in awhile.”


And because I was never a cheerleader in real life – is high school real life? – I gravitate to the curmudgeon side of me that says:

“Why do you let him get to you?”

“Wow, Jesse, way to emulate grace and poise,” in a most facetious tone.

“Hello?  Have you forgotten what the pattern is here?”


And then the wise old soul in me – the one who lightens up, the one who doesn’t take all this shit too seriously, the one gently encouraged by the Universe, the one whose cup is empty says:

“Jesse, it’s okay.”

“That’s what it’s like to be human.”

“Slip-ups happen on the way to progress.”

“You are showing your kids that it’s okay to make a mistake, own it, and move on.”

“Remember that thing about the bitter and the sweet?”

“Just keep moving, honey, and don’t put so damn much emphasis on those two steps back.”

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  1. If you don’t mind a correction, I think it’s really been TWO steps forward and one step backward, which puts you way ahead of five years ago. You’re right: give yourself a break – you’re human. and we all love you for it.

  2. Pat,

    Thank you.


    *For those who don’t know, that means finger.under.nose. – which works really well if you feel yourself getting teary, and you want to keep from crying. try it.

  3. Pat is a wise woman. Glad she said it first. You know that while you are being hard on yourself, your cheerleading squad is here to say,
    “Victory Victory
    That’s our cry
    Victory Victory
    That’s our pride
    Split that V
    Dot that I
    Curve that C-T-O-R-Y”

    Ok, I wasn’t a cheerleader either, but you know that even when you are a play behind, it is possible for you to still win the game. Chin up! and hugs…

  4. Z,

    Okay… that’s hilarious! How do you even know that?

    Damn, it’s good to have cheerleaders on my side.

    love ya ;)

  5. I slipped this weekend, too. It’s nice to know I am in good company.

  6. Alyson,

    I suppose we could blame it on the emotions of the holidays, but….

  7. Jesse,

    You are awesome! How is it you read my mind and know exactly how my day is going?

    It is so good to know I am not alone–that we walk surrounded by those who have felt the awful pain of being discarded after giving our all. I really wish no one would have to experience such a feeling. Sometimes it is more than I can take.

    I harken back to Churchill:
    “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

    Take care all . . .

  8. Lynn,

    I’d like to think the part left out of Churchill’s quote is, “You’ll survive the journey with the support of friends and family.”

    As Alyson said, we’re all in good company.

    Hang in there, dear.

  9. I don’t blame my stuff on anyone. It was me behaving badly. I’m awesomely human!

  10. A,

    I want to be more like you.

  11. It’s hard to not feel that way, sometimes. I think some of it might be the holidays, too! I have been feeling sad about my friend. And then I get angry with myself, I thought I was stronger, I thought I was better, I thought I was OVER this. I thought I had learned something.

    Do any of you ever feel like if only you had been better at successfully walking the N tightrope, that you could have done better? Better for yourselves and for the N in your life? And then I think I am SICK! I must rewire this overactive guilt chip! Oy… That’s when I feel like you said here, Jesse. Like I’m back at square -17. Behind square one somewhere.

    Jesse, I think you have come well beyond square one. Hang in there!

    Hugs, NM

  12. NM,

    INFJs work tirelessly at relationships. Their focus is always on making relationships a priority. You come by it honestly. You could conceivably find a way to relate to her differently/better/smarter, but here’s the rub, and I’m speaking from my experience as an INFJ…

    Things may very well run smoothly for awhile, life approaches an even keel, and then suddenly, he thinks he’s not getting the attention he needs/wants/deserves. I would quickly adjust my course settings, heading in the direction of the compass points that worked so successfully in the past, only those settings don’t work any more. He’s changed what he needs. He won’t tell me what he needs. He tells me I ought to know, if I really love him.

    And my INFJ-ness made me work to find what he needed – to find some contentment, peace or harmony.

    And then he’d change things up again.

    Can’t live that way.

  13. Thanks Jesse–I do make it with the fabulous support of friends and family near and far! Wonderful reminder!

    To NM: Please try not to be hard on yourself. The patterns of dealing with a N run deep–the self-doubt–the endless striving to fix the broken that will never be fixed. I remind myself over and over that I did all I could–Ns will not change–sadly. The cycle of abuse causes a person to hang on to the “crumbs of kindness” that sometimes come during the “honeymoon” phase.

    Hold your head high and your true friends close . . . and be kind to yourself.

  14. Lynn,

    Beautiful said, from one on the front lines.

    hugs to you and yours.

  15. Thank you so much. I think I need to try that finger under nose thing. I keep telling myself that my sadness comes from the fact that things cannot be different. It’s the holidays, and it’s been almost a year since I walked away from this. To top it off my N friend keeps contacting me, even though I haven’t responded to a word she’s said since May. You are both so right to say that there’s no changing or fixing the situation, or “fixing” the N. And, particularly as an INFJ, Jesse, I know if I tried this again, I’d end up back at square -349. There is a small sadness that will never go away, I think. This person was present at so many milestones in my life. I guess a friendship is mourned, too.

    Thank you both again, you really made me feel better.

    Hugs, NM

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