Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Roads to Travel

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...
Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before.”
Erich Fromm, Philosopher

The incredible destination of any journey is not the place we come to, but the road we have traveled to get there. This concept has been written about, in many ways, by many different people, and yet whenever I see it somewhere or hear it spoken, it never ceases to amaze or to move me. And I found myself contemplating these words over and over as the miles passed underneath my car and the landscape of the West unfolded before my searching eyes.

When someone leaves to go on their next journey, the unknown one, the one spoken of in whispers and referred to more often than not as a "passing", they leave an empty place, an echo of themselves and a scent of someone missing. I do not know where they go. I only know that as I traveled the physical miles on my own road home I set out to discover some remote territory in my mind and in my soul.
I thought: "Why, I can be quite an exotic mystery even to myself." And I had to smile at that and wonder aloud...."Who am I? What words do I use to define myself?"

Woman. Artist. Wife. Daughter. Lover. Giver. Taker. Writer. Reader. Gardener. etc, etc, etc....
All nouns.
All cubbyholes.
Where are the glorious adjectives I use freely everywhere else, describing objects, scenery, other people?
I use the words "Awesome" and "Beautiful" and "Wondrous" often but I have never used them to define myself. And yet, why not? Am I not these adjectives personified on this planet? Aren't we all? Don't we all move through immeasurable and difficult periods in our lifetimes, do what is necessary to survive and come out the other side, still breathing, and with a larger understanding and appreciation of who we are? And if we don't, why not? I started to venture forth and look into the possibilities of defining myself with expansive and striking adjectives and I froze. I stopped as if on glacial ice because this self praise and seeming limitless celebration of ego was not only vast new territory but it had brought me to a place of fear.

And then I remembered. It came to me on the lightest of whispers, a sigh of my Father's voice: "Don't ever forget that you know no bounds except those you place on yourself. You are beautiful, talented and full of love. Just remember that sweetheart."

Aren't we all, in those unsung places of our souls, huge people overflowing with fearless and breathtaking passions, needs and an incredible desire to give, love and be loved? Traveling far and wide, sometimes through endless green fields covered in brightly colored flowers and other times on dark, desolate highways, aren't we all in search of something familiar, positive connections, people like ourselves? I think we are, and that this searching journey is how our spirit soars. This is how we move freely through the strange new world of who we are: by recognizing our strengths, our beauty and our endless capacity for love and being with others who see it as well. This is how the person who has passed and who now travels in mystery lives in us. And this is how we love, carry and live with them.

We are all on a fabulous new road, an uncharted, strange and astonishing new journey through the territory of ourselves.....and aren't we all wonderful?

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Marianne Williamson

 "Don't ask so much what the world needs.
Go out and do what makes you come alive,
because what the world needs most
are people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman