In my role as marriage and family therapist, I encourage every single one of my clients to learn ways in which they must respect the journey they have chosen.
It is always easy to denigrate all of the parts that seem negative, things we did that we now regret, people we hurt and the wounds we inflicted.
It is not easy for them to do what I recommend for they have been “programmed” in other ways.
Respecting the journey does not suggest that we dismiss our foibles. Respecting the journey does not mean treating past negative decisions and choices as if they were not instrumental in causing pain and disruption to ourselves as well as to others.
We all want things that are not always good for us. We are complicated and yet often simplistic about who we claim to be, what we want to accomplish, and where we feel we will most likely be successful in our personal lives as well as the professional world we aspire to experience.
We repeat family of origin pitfalls and often go to the opposite end of the continuum in our search for meaning. We become confused and impatient when results are not forthcoming, when we are forced to move slowly, when, in reality, we want to race forward.
We swear that we will not repeat the models that have led us astray and we proceed to do just that. We wonder why life has to be so difficult.
We are children and adults at the same time and become resentful when we are not understood.
We strive for independence at any cost, yet yearn to be taken care of.
We seek perfection and are angered at our inability to reach it.
We are confused about our pain and embarrassed by our humanness.
We hate what we refer to as our “weaknesses” and work to erode what has brought us our uniqueness.
Our love of solitude turns into a critical perspective and labeled as “unsociable.”
We become confused about our intentions and despise our hesitations.
We want to feel needed at any cost and are often too willing to negate what we need in our own lives. We ride the roller coaster of life surprised that we have left aside our purpose, our dreams, our yearnings.
We keep busy beyond reasonable expectations, for stillness disturbs us.
And as the years pass, the journey proceeds in spite of our inclinations to want others to be in charge of the paths, rather than taking the risk to make our own choices, choices that really must be ours alone. We resent their intrusions, yet have allowed their presence to rule, in spite of ourselves.
- We know the truth yet all too often accept the lies and deceits we find all too comfortable, for the thought of change is paralyzing.
- How do we begin to honor and respect a journey in the making? How do we make choices that empower rather than those that handicap the process?
- What are we willing to change in order to create the life we claim is important?
- How determined are we to walk away from what destroys our ability to be free, to breathe life and to fill our lungs with joy and harmony?
- At what point on our journey will we finally acknowledge our courage and determination to have met life head on and changed the course of our destiny?
Lessons are available for the learning. As the learning is respected so will we be there available to grow and develop the creative energy that will propel us forward. For some of us it may take a lifetime to set ourselves free. For others it may take much less time to change what no longer encourages the best part of us to flourish.
Learning and accepting the lessons that bring us to our destiny will bring us the greatest rewards.
Learning and accepting the lessons yet to be realized is part of the journey of life.
It will never be about good and bad. It will always be about the risks we are willing to take, the risks that show us a way forward allowing for the mystery of our lives to be discovered. May we rejoice in the process. May we respect our strengths and our tenaciousness.
And may we continue to look into that mirror of life and thank ourselves for being brave and steadfast in our never-ending faith that we will, indeed, complete the unfinished business that has kept us captive, and that has restricted us from the ability to embrace the amazing life that lies before us.