Cindy Hartner never expected her ten years of marriage to end the way it did. At just 34, she lost the love of her life to a fatal heart attack. She faced a choice: remain stuck in self-pity, anxiety and fatigue or move through the unknown as soon as possible. In this tender, funny book, Cindy shares how she found reasons to keep living, step out of the pain and take control. You Don’t Get a Map, You Get a Compass is a guide for anyone ready to move from grief to recovery and to find joy in a fulfilling life.
Three days after my brother flew back to Denver following Michael’s funeral service, he called to see how I was doing. “I just wish I knew how I was going to feel on Friday,” I told him. I was in such deep despair I couldn’t possibly imagine ever feeling good again. “I want to know when I am going to feel better,” I told him. “I want a map, but instead, I feel like I was just handed a stupid compass!”
What direction should I take in order to feel better, get my life back to “normal” as soon as possible? Where should I begin? I wanted the straightest route from point A to point B. I also wanted to know what landmarks to look for so that I could make sure I was going in the right direction. I had been an efficient planner all my life, and for the first time I had absolutely no idea what to do.
I did not get the map. I got a compass instead.
I had to stop. I had to listen. I had to wait for some direction. I lacked experience in doing this. However, tragedy has a way of shutting you down, and forcing you to get back to the basics of living. I became keenly aware of my senses and my surroundings. Some inner sense was guiding me. When I got hungry, I ate. When I was tired, I lay down. When I was sad, I cried. I was led from the inside, and when I got outside of what felt comfortable, I stopped doing whatever I was doing and envisioned my compass.
We think we have the map. We make plans for our lives and think that we are in control of our circumstances, but when something tragic takes place, suddenly we feel all alone with no direction or destination. No one could tell me what to do. I had to find my internal compass. Then I just started walking, one step at a time.