A new way of looking at setbacks.


We all know the idea of taking two steps forward, then three steps back, or whatever other number combinations you can think of. (Paula Abdul even sang about it!)

This concept says “I’m making progress but I am still hampered by setbacks.”

It’s how we know that our journeys are in no way linear.

Over the last few years, I have come to see such steps forward and steps back in a different light.

It’s not so much that a failure of some sort has occurred requiring one to be penalized by falling backward in line.

It’s that some kind of closure is necessary for some past situation (big or small) and you won’t be able to successfully
move forward until it is dealt with.

Oftentimes, we don’t even know what it is we’re supposed to bring to closure when a setback happens, so it can add confusion to frustration.

But there is always something that needs our attention.

For me personally, things like counseling have helped me figure out the areas of my life that have needed attention. Other things like channeling sadness or anxiety into some kind of art can also be helpful.

This mindset has certainly helped me to stress less when such a setback happens.

All of this, however, requires a certain level of surrender that is often tough to do, but you have to trust the process.

Becoming a widow was absolutely the biggest “setback” of my life.

Nearly six years later I am still picking up the pieces – I honestly don’t know if we ever get all the pieces picked up.

But in order to keep moving forward, we have to clear our paths.

And sometimes keeping the path clear means going backward for a stretch.

Think of it as backtracking to clear away debris after an unexpected storm – because isn’t that what a setback is?

We can sometimes use that metaphorical debris to help us out later on down the road.

(Example: I had a headlight go out and had literally no idea what to do – especially as my dad was out of town. But I learned and then was able to know what to do when it happened again. This wasn’t the biggest of setbacks, but it changed the trajectory of the rest of my evening and into the next day.)

That particular time was full of setbacks and it seemed like I couldn’t get anything straight.

But soon the clouds parted and I saw that I was further down the road than I even knew.

Not to mention that it feels nice to address these different areas of my life that have been needing attention.

I just may need to remind myself of all of this the next time I hit a snag in life, though!

Setbacks happen.

Let’s use them to help propel us forward.

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Layla Beth Munk is a blogger & author who was thrust into this widowhood journey abruptly and tragically on February 11, 2018. Her husband of 12 years had ended his pain once and for all. She soon made the decision that she would not let his final decision define the rest of her life or their daughter’s life, so with her sense of humor at the helm, she started writing about her newfound station in life. Grief waves still get to her, and probably always will, but with the help of her fellow widows as well as friends and family, she has been able to realize her dream of becoming a published author! Layla is so grateful to Hope For Widows Foundation for providing this level of support to her, and so many others! Layla has two amazing children, one who is grown and one who is almost grown. She lives in eastern Oregon and has a wellness & beauty background. Layla enjoys writing poetry, watching anime, and homeschooling her daughter.

Her blog can be found at laylabethmunk.medium.com and her debut novella, 24 Hours in Vegas, is available on Amazon.