Sunday, February 07, 2010

Happiness is a Journey

I was running up the trail feverishly determined. I had to get to the top of the mountain. I was slapped time and again in the face by branches trying to waylay me, slow me down but I pressed on. It was there at the top, I knew it was. The pine scented trail did not distract me, the cold rushing stream was forded effortlessly, it was at the top and I needed it and I wouldn't be distracted. I got to the top, breathless, panicked, in total fear of having lost what I was looking for. All that was there was an old man laughing at me and telling me to go back and walk this time. (A recent dream)

Getting that first car, first big job, first girlfriend, first child, first, first, first. It all has been fun but I get more and more that the fun is in what it takes to get there and not the getting. When my focus lies outside of the journey and is targeted on the acquisition of something, then the journey is diminished or more accurately put, obscured. The journey is still full of lessons, joy, pain, and teachings but with the eye on the prize its importance becomes secondary.

I really believe that all around us, every single day, the journey is teaching us and we are adding to the teaching of others. That teaching is happiness, it is love and sometimes pain. I can think back on all the moments of my life I was centered in the journey and that is when I was happiest, that is when I knew I was on the path to growth. When you are centered in the moment of the journey, squeezing out all the wonder it imparts, then life becomes crystal clear.

Life isn't full of obstacles blocking the way to the real thing. The obstacles are your life and part of your journey and something that should be embraced and considered. Like the branches in my dream they are often telling you to slow down and look around you, take in all that this life is teaching you.

The journeys in life that have moved me the most, touched me, made me grow, have always been with people. A deep conversation, a warmly held hand, an obstacle surmounted with a friends help, even a simple smile from a stranger, have all changed me deeply as a person. Thanks for being a part of each others journey. May our paths cross often.

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