Midway through the drive to Minnesota to visit our daughter, it occurred to me how “fast and efficient” airline travel has become an integrated part of our lives. But, driving through Nebraska on a two-lane backroad, seeing nothing but blue sky and rolling sand hills, made me reflect on the importance of the journey itself.
It’s important that we include every moment in our journey (and every circumstance in that moment).
We like to skip steps. We’re conditioned to accelerate through or avoid all-together the mundane, annoying, and painful parts of the journey. We do it as a collective on larger scales, and we do it in the microcosm as individuals. To avoid the pain we ask, “How can I circumnavigate (this or that situation) because it doesn’t meet my expectations?” It’s human nature, but just because we are comfort seeking, pain avoiding creatures, doesn’t mean we have to fall into the trap of quiet desperation.
What if we were to consider every detail (for better or worse) an equally important part of the journey?
Instead of shortcutting, wishing or wanting for something different, there’s a small inner shift that says, “I’m in it for the long haul. This is part of me and I’m part of it. I’ll avoid nothing and gently include everything.” The same event with different perspective, miraculously changes the journey! Which path is likely to be the fulfilling one—the one that separates or the one that joins? Which one makes all the difference? Which path, to borrow from Robert Frost, is the “road less traveled by?”
Maybe you saw my short Yellow Submarine video. It’s a fun and whimsical song but it represents the joy we can have when we move toward a place of inner fulfillment. We’re on a journey, as individuals, together as one. Our response to the outer, reveals the inner path that we have chosen. Switch to the inner one that accepts, joins and unites, and the outer will follow. That’s the adventure! To live life likes it’s a classroom, a practice of welcoming the diversions, the speed bumps, the ups and downs, the sharp turns and the long, gradual sweeping turns.
I know we want things to be different, but don’t discount the journey for a wish. Enjoy the ride. I’m on my way home. See you soon.