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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

THE JOURNEY ..."The Road Ahead Lies Within."

 THE FIRST TIME I HEARD "The road ahead lies within," it struck me as a very simple but powerful truth. In the 67 years that has brought me to this journey of discovery the only place I have left to travel is within. Every other road I have ever taken turned out to be a dead end.

God knows I have made an art form of focusing outward. I've tried comparing myself to others wanting to be someone, or somewhere I am not. I have found myself endlessly falling into the dream of another life. Sometimes the fall was into the delusional la-la-land of thinking that if 'they' would change then 'I', and 'my life,' would be fine.

From time to time I also tried 'behavior modification' to make my life work. Behaviour modification books and classes sound reasonable. "Just act like this, and they will do this and everything will be wonderful." But one of my problems is I have a hard time being reasonable. There has always been a voice deep within my soul that called me to beyond what is reasonable. And that flickering flame of a voice has set me on this journey.

Poet Mark Nepo says. "To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim." I have been a nomad...I have been a chameleon...now I am a pilgrim.

As a pilgrim I have come face to face with myself as I step into a world I have only dreamed of inhabiting. It is the world where I take full responsibility for my happiness. No more 'ifs'...but a choice.

While talking to a friend about her own challenge to stop allowing other peoples moods, actions and words to control her happiness, I recalled a little fable about a kind old sage who waded into the river everyday and prayed. One day in the midst of his loving prayers he saw a poisonous spider struggling in the water and cupped his hands to carry it ashore. As he placed the spider on the ground it stung him. Unknowingly his prayers diluted the poison. The next day the same thing happened. On the third day the kind man was knee deep, and sure enough there was the spider, legs frantic in the water. As the man went to lift the creature yet again, the spider said, "Why do you keep lifting me? Can't you see that I will sting you every time, because that is what I do."And the kind man cupped his hands under the spider, replying, "Because this is what I do."

My friend and I agreed that our goal was to journey so far into our souls that we know exactly what 'we' will do no matter what 'they' do. I believe the Bible calls it, 'Purity of heart." It is our choice. As long as we are on this earth we will know, or be in relationships with people just like us, who carry baggage in their wounded souls. Our choice is to re-act out of our own woundedness...or respond from a place of peace to do and say the right thing.

NOTE TO SELF: Regardless of how others act I will 'do what I do'...and let God handle them and the poison they try to inflict. I no longer want to just act kind...I want to be predictably kind. I choose happiness. It is my decision.

The road ahead indeed lies within and the farther I travel inward the more peace I experience. Thanks also to all the readers of this blog. for your feedback, comments, and for sharing it with other ''pilgrims'.

In closing please  make a decision to be happy...try it for five minutes...then an hour...then a day...take a deep breath and step from that day into you entire life...you will never regret it. I promise. (:

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