(Lately I’m sometimes called to write more personal blog posts that originate in my journal. This is one of them.)
We’ve all heard it before: life is a journey not a destination.
It seems a little obvious these days, and yet there’s a part of me that keeps hoping I’ll arrive at a destination far beyond the woes of the world. Partly because I know I’m beyond lucky to be spending my summer in Mendocino, a destination where things do feel slower, easier.
As I’ve begun to settle into this tiny cottage here, there’s actually a sense of more space now, between me and the reminders of what’s happening in the world. Or at least I can imagine it to be so.
Still, I’ve felt worn down by the reality that life is a journey, weary from the accumulation of problems, pains, crises. When life’s twists and turns wear on for a long time we do get worn down, we do feel weary. It just makes sense. So I know it’s definitely okay to not feel okay all the time right now.
But I wonder…if life is a journey and it’s not going so well where do we find solace?
I know I find solace by connecting with other humans. Sharing our thoughts and feelings, striving to listen and understand. Opening ourselves up to one another to hear and be present to each others stories.
The other day I had a beautiful reminder of this when I was talking to my friend Julie. Suddenly she said something that moved through me and settled somewhere near my heart…
I’ve been waiting for things to go back to some semblance of normal and I’ve been resisting this current reality that I don’t like. But the shift that I’m coming to accept is that this is the way it’s going to be for awhile. And I can choose to just live right now.
I can choose to live right now.
In that moment I saw that I can do that too, accepting that life is a journey and not a destination. Especially when I have companions along the way like Julie.
And it wasn’t just her words, either. It was the way she said them, slowly, deeply, venturing into a place of inner wisdom that she was just then reconnecting with.
I was lucky to be there and soak up some of her wisdom for myself.
So like Julie, each day we can choose to accept, to begin again, to live right now. In spite of the obstacles and crises. In spite of feeling worn out.
Later, I realized I was hearing an echo in her words.
A long ago, long forgotten quote had suddenly returned to me…
For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
–Alfred D. Souza
No doubt about it, the path seems littered with obstacles right now.
Probably far more than Alfred D. Souza could have imagined.
But when I put it all together and consider the whole, I do find solace.
Then I can say: Life is a journey full of obstacles and these obstacles are my life. And I can choose to just live right now.
Thank you, Julie and Alfred.