I thought I knew why I’ve been having such a difficult time looking forward, casting a bold new vision, and making some tough decisions that I know I need to make.

I thought it was guilt. Guilt over not being the kind of leader I thought I would be. Guilt over not being able to “fix” anything. Guilt over not being there for my team more.

But I was wrong. It isn’t guilt that’s holding me back.

It’s grief.

I’ve realized I’m afraid to look too far ahead or cast a bold vision or make some very tough decisions because I know those things don’t lead back to what I had (which was pretty damn great).

I am holding back because I don’t want to grieve what has been taken away. I know that the grief is going to be powerful and painful and may last awhile. And I don’t want it.

The truth is that I’m already well into the process, stuck in denial. I keep thinking surely there’s a way back to what we had before.

But there isn’t. There is only the slow slog through the rest of the stages of grief. The irony is that I’ve been down this road before and I know how it works. I know that on the other side of the grief is something I can’t even see yet, something likely far better in some ways than what I have lost.

This awareness must mean I’m almost ready. God,I hope so.

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