Patience is the understanding
That a journey takes a lifetime;
It’s a perspective and perception
That accepts each challenge and sign.
It’s the knowledge that arriving
Is saved for the journey’s end;
That we live and learn and grow
From the moment we begin.
Be patient with yourself
As you make progress along the way:
You’ll arrive at your destination
At just the right time some day.
Life is like a walk through the forest.
There are so many things to see, hear, feel and smell!
Paths wind through trees and underbrush;
Uphill and down, around corners and under old snags;
Hiding our destination in mystery.
Unknowing is part of the journey.
We never really see far ahead, if at all.
Discovery seems to be the point;
Our life-long process of learning and growth important,
Until that happy day when we have arrived.
In the past few months, my personal journey has led me to places where I find that I don’t know myself well at all, or I am not sure how to proceed.
This is a part of healing that some people avoid: It requires hiking over rocky ground that is often unpredictable, frightening and painful.
When I worked as a therapist, I sometimes met people who would do anything they possibly could to stay away from such terrain, even if it meant continuing in unhealthy ways and habits. I sat with more than one spouse who was headed for divorce because he or she had become healthier while the other spouse insisted on staying in “safe territory.”
The cost of wellness can be high indeed: Friends and loved ones who are not on that path will eventually leave…or you will be the one to decide that a continued relationship is not good, so you will tell them good-bye.
Sometimes, it’s a part of your own self that gets laid down, old and familiar as it is.
I have come to points of decision all along the way that require me to count the cost, weigh the risks and make a decision. When it comes to wholeness, the treasure is always worth the price. Okay, there have been times when I wondered about that, but if I will hang in there long enough, I find that the gains are far more valuable than anything I gave up.
Such interesting paradoxes are found in the journey:
By dying, I live.
When I lay something down, I get something greater.
In facing darkness, I find light.
In losing myself, I find myself.
The night is cold and dark. I stumble down the path as I make my way to morning, Unable to see Because of the heavy, thick fog of unknowing. But I keep walking, picking my way over stones; Pushing through underbrush and cutting a path.
Sometimes, I have to stop so that I can rest and nurse the wounds I have received; Then, I press on. I must keep going; I want to: There is this promise of the sunrise that stokes the flame of hope within my heart. The alternative is to stop or turn around, but that would be death. There is no going back; only moving forward.
Sometimes, there is a reminder that the sunrise is real; often such encouragement is subtle. It is enough: I walk farther, grow stronger and look for every new indication that Morning is here.
Someday, I will reach my destination: Bright, warm, delightful rays of sunlight that chase all darkness away. My joy will be complete in that moment. I will know as I am already known; I will enjoy the wholeness for which I have labored so diligently.
For now, I walk on, step by step; With new discovery as my companion; With peace and joy as my guides.