Journeys often begin the same way. We decide to leave town, take a trip, explore a new venue, or revisit a favorite destination. Sometimes we imagine the geographic cure, believing that once the past is out of sight, it also will be out of mind. Then we expect paths filled with only rainbows and sunshine.
Sometimes we fuel ourselves with mantras such as: “Let a smile be your umbrella.” Or “It’s easier to change your direction than it is to change your attitude.” Or “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.” We may try to affirm our heart’s desires, using magical thinking to will away the past, or spiritual bypassing to pretend that we haven’t failed several times, or hit a bottom no one witnessed anywhere on social media.
When we begin journeys believing that a “cosmic eraser” will eliminate the past — the bankruptcy, break-up, death, debt, disaster, divorce, estrangement, harm, hurt, illness, job loss, storm — we forget our sacred worth and our innate power to move forward. If we strive for fulfillment which comes without failure, then we never feel happy or content. If we see the destination as the ultimate reward, we’re disappointed the moment we arrive.
Then, we’re off again, still led by burdens of blame, shame, guilt, pain, and sorrow we wear like armor. Pretending that we don’t feel angry, confused, disillusioned, exhausted, frightened, frustrated, or heartbroken, delays the profound healing we can realize when we grieve our losses, remembering that they are as much a part of life as the celebrations.
It’s also why the geographic cure works only when we remember what we always carry:
- Divinity: the essence and presence of God within each of us, no matter who we are, where we live, what we do, how we look, or who we love. Our divinity reminds us that we’re spiritual beings, living a human experience, and so is everyone else.
- Faith: the infinite, inner reserve which includes belief, hope, and trust. We can reactivate our faith with daily contemplation, meditation, prayer, and reflection, especially in times of silence and solitude.
- Patience: an aspect of spiritual strength, which trusts in God’s calendar before our personal to-do list, especially as we notice that all things grow, bloom, and die in their own sacred time.
- Compassion: born when love and wisdom unite, to unlock our hearts and open our minds, first to ourselves, then to others.
- Courage: from the Latin cor, meaning heart, allowing us to follow our heart as we let the past fertilize and fuel a better life now, and in the future.
The journeys we travel separately and collectively, as citizens of the world, invite us to move beyond our past and our pain, not only for our own well-being, but for all others, too. And as we grow in spiritual maturity, we’re free to take the best of ourselves wherever we go.
© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.