No matter how hard we plan there are always cracks, gaps or even large crevices between what we wanted to do and what actually happened, between our hopes and the truth of reality. Learning to deal with the gaps of life is what makes some of us victorious and some of us victims. We all know those people who cannot move past the gaps and seem to live their lives as the walking wounded.

I worked with such a person and after a while I could tell that people were avoiding them so they would not have to hear about the daily disappointments of life, the office, their family, or anything else that fell into that category. The person had no idea why they were avoided and one day asked me my observations about their behaviors. Wow! That took guts and opened the door for us to have a conversation about how they were handling the gaps of life.

It was a revealing conversation for me as I learned of this person’s earlier pain in life that had never been healed which then oozed disdain, pain, discouragement, unworthiness and self loathing for decades. Who on their best day knows how to deal with all that in a professional and upbeat manner? No wonder this person was one of the walking wounded. I ended the conversation by asking them to go home and dig deep to see if they REALLY wanted to be done with the pain or was it just easier to remain the way they are now?

That can be a tough question for all of us. Are we willing to deal with the gaps life has dealt us, or is it just easier to be in pain and muddle along? Dealing with the past means we will have to change and change is hard. We all have patterns and habits that could be improved and yet that takes effort, energy, focus and a concentration that means something has got to give. Are we willing to do the work to be victorious or is it easier to slide along as a victim?

I stepped over this sidewalk gap and it reminded me that even what was unexpected, unwanted, unplanned can be filled in with life, beauty and something so green as to make a stranger stop in her tracks. I want to have enough courage to handle the gaps in my life this way.