Going "backwards" to move forward

Many of my blog entries will be about lessons that I am learning from my baby, Emily. Here’s one of them.
Right now, Emily is trying to crawl. She does many things to help her – lift her butt up, push her legs underneath her, move her arms forward – but instead of moving forward, she’s become very proficient at moving backwards.
She gets frustrated as she is not headed in the direction that she wishes. Though I want to step in and sometimes physically lift her to ease her frustration, I realize that part of her development is to try to move forward. As she’s moving backwards, she’s building the muscles to propel her forward on her own.
How often does that analogy apply to us? How often do we feel like we are moving backwards – and when we do, we get frustrated, want to give up, and don’t see any value in it? How often do we not see how sometimes – in seemingly moving backwards, we are actually building our muscles to enable us to later move forward more effectively.
Life does not always follow a linear path. We tend to try to measure our success or progress linearly – be it how far forward we have come (e.g., by how much money we have, what promotions we have received, or how many friends we have) – and do not value how we often need to grapple with something, seemingly move backwards, in order to be better equipped to propel ourselves forward once we have adequately built up our muscles.
Sometimes we give up, other times we wallow in our frustration / delve into self-pity. But let’s keep seeing the bigger picture in life – we are more than our progress along the linear pathway that we think should define us.
Let’s be like Emily – fighting to crawl forward each day, even if she’s going backwards right now. If she stopped trying – and just stayed put and gave up, she would never learn how to move forward. That’s a good lesson for all of us.