“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” … Rosalia de Castro
I have plans. I have goals. And I have dreams. All of them live within me and drive me forward into a tomorrow filled with the possibility of fulfilling each and every one of them. Some days I actually get to see some of my goals manifest in the world around me! On other days I wonder what I was thinking when I conceived of plan X, Y or Z. But knowing that, in general – and seldom in the manner in which I imagine – life does indeed tend to roll out things that are even better than my best dreams – I keep going and I believe.
Last year I found myself on a path for which I had no map. I perceived no nice little benches along the way and imagined that THIS road was going to be a hard and rocky one to walk. Being of great faith, however, and being ever conscious of walking hand-in-hand with the Universe I stepped forward and then, stepped forward again. The Universe graced me with a vision of a broad, wide-open highway; paved and with no traffic or stones of any size, shape or description. I took this as a signpost – in a landscape barren of uplifting signs – that this was indeed the road that I should follow. And now, having walked said super-highway-to-the-future I have discovered that … son-of-a-gun … it was.
On my journey through fire, by faith, I discovered that my short view of life really did not provide me with the tools and input which I would need for such a trip. I reaffirmed that the Universe – grand as it is – has a MUCH longer view of life than I. And, I discovered that THAT view incorporates not only my own little biosphere but the lives of many, many people who both reside around me and who pass, temporarily, through my life. I was changed by my fire walk, and consequently, so too were the people whom I call friends and family. I watched, fascinated, as beautiful inner souls came out to play for the first time in decades. I marveled at the circumstances that allowed both monumental and incremental changes in perspective and behavior to take root. And I rejoiced as I observed the dropping of unnecessary judgments and opinions – both in myself and others – and the taking on of compassionate understanding. I did not know where my path would lead me, and even not knowing, I chose to walk it and was inspired by the constantly changing and uplifting landscape through which I passed.
Sometimes life can seem hard. Things happen, people come and go, jobs are lost and our lives are very different from we thought that they would be. We walk through an alien landscape, peopled by others with whom we have little if any connection and we wonder and we ponder and we cry out: “Why?” We forget that the path upon which we walk requires our focus and our attention. We assume that if the path we are on were truly the correct one then everything would be rosy and wonderful. All too often such is not the case. Often the path that leads, not only to our own greatest heights, but which also contributes to others “getting the message”, is one that ambles through fog-filled valleys and amongst mountainous terrain. All too often our paths wander through landscapes that scare the bejesus out of us, leaving us quaking in our boots and wondering where we took a wrong turn that led us to THIS point. It is THESE paths, more than any others that lead us to ask questions; and asking questions causes us to pause in our headlong rush through life to listen for answers. It matters not whether you perceive that the answers to the “BIG” questions of life come from Divine inspiration, a Universal collective energy or your own inner soul wisdom; for answers are answers and when they provide peace, ease and an impetus to continue the journeys then they are doing their job.
The quiet paths lead us past “still water”; they lead us through the easeful times of our lives. The hidden paths, the scary roads and the unsettling landscapes lead into and through the realms of possibilities. On these paths we find out what we are capable of, we uncover our depths and our shallows and we learn. We learn so much more on the uncharted roads than we ever do on the quiet ones for they teach us how to listen – to Life, to others and to the world around us – and they teach us how to live as an example of what is possible during times of stress and challenge. Some travelers teach the lesson of how to be overly emotional – flinging themselves from pillar to post in their search for stability and answers. Others teach the lessons of introspection and attaining THEIR stability through reconnecting with the bedrock of Life. Still others take their personal journeys out into the world so that those around them might watch and learn by observing; thus precluding them from the necessity of walking those paths themselves. A wise man once said: “There is only one path but each must walk it in their way.” I believe that he was correct. There is one journey in this life that we all take – it is the trip from birth to the death of the body: one path with an immeasurable number of ways to travel it. So, in the long run it is not the destination that is the be-all-and-end-all; after all we’re ALL going to reach THAT destination … it is HOW we make the trip that is what makes the difference and turns us into the people whom we came here to be.
Godspeed and Safe Journeying Everyone