Archive for February, 2012
All humans want to know ‘why’? Why this, why that, why me. Beyond social-economic, natural, and scientific realms is the why me. Why am I here? Why is this happening to me?
I believe everyone experiences and feels this question at some point in their lives. We all want to have purpose, to live a life that matters in some way however small. We have dreams, goals, plans and ideas about where we will go and what we will do…and then life happens. Sometimes life happens in an awesome and sychronistic way and sometimes it comes as an unexpected thief, stealing our dreams, our loved ones, our homes, our health. “Why” is our bewildered response.
It is these profound moments that create the opportunity to learn acceptance, adaptability, forgiveness and faith. Sounds simple and even trite. But to plunge (or be plunged) into the depths of our psycho-spiritual soul is more often than not a traumatic event. It is working through the ensuing anguish, working through the why, that becomes an integral part of our journey to wholeness.
I recently overheard a familiar comment…’it’s not about the destination, it’s all about the journey.’ This brought to mind another saying about the ‘journey of a thousand miles beginning with the first step.’ My mind invited these concepts into play. Soon I was riding the ferris wheel of my probing interest. Going slowly round and round, stopping at the top; swinging gently. Then down again, stopping to pick up some different perspectives.
Of course I checked the old Webster, journey has origins in ME, OFr. and L. What intrigued me the most was the L. root, diurnus which means ‘daily’. And also, that journey was a days travel. This made a great deal of sense to me as I reflected on the above adages. A days travel prior to the industrial revolution was an arduous undertaking, especially before the horse and buggy. On foot, or on a donkey, horse, camel or elephant a day’s journey would often have been demanding, exhausting and dangerous.
More mind musings spotlighted the ‘daily’ journey, with its ups and downs, highs and lows, flotsam and jetsam and provided a profound insight into the speed at which we now ‘travel’ in a day even when we don’t leave home. This is not a new experience for the majority of us. However, I wonder if you, like me, get so caught up in the swiftness of the journey that we often miss details; the Hawk on telephone wire, the color of the sky, the smell of the season, a stranger’s smile.
The above sayings now have more depth and meaning for me. I am inspired to stop for a moment here and there; to catch my breath, to watch a Hummingbird, to play with a child, say ‘Hello’ to a neighbor, and to rest now and then.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. It is a day that is often difficult for singles who have nothing going on romantically. It is a day filled with flowers, chocolates, champagne, special meals, clothes, gifts, including jewelry, and greeting cards gushing and blushing expressions of love.
For those of you celebrating with that special someone in you life, I wish you a beautiful day! And for those of you who are alone, I invite you to be your valentine. It has been for me, a very enjoyable and rewarding experience to buy myself some of my favorite flowers, a bottle of my favorite champagne and to either get special take-out or prepare a special meal for myself. Set the table, put on some great music, light a candle or two (or more) and savor some really good moments alone.
Wishing each of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!!
The root of the word ‘option’ is from L. optare, to wish or desire. My old and new Websters both define option as “…the power to choose”.
We easily take for granted our many routine ‘options’. How we spend our money, who we hang out with, where we live, what we do with our ‘free’ time, what we eat, how we dress, who we vote for, what spiritual path we follow, these are options in the true sense of fulfilling our desires or wishes. Having the right and the freedom to choose is an enormous power.
There are often times in our lives when we feel we have no choice, no options. We feel trapped. Trapped in a job, a marriage, a relationship, an addiction, a dynamic, even a physical limitation. We can’t imagine that we have any other ‘option’ but to keep things as they are. Very often it is fear that keeps us bound to circumstances we don’t really desire. Fear of the unknown, fear of what others may think of us, peer pressure, social mores, religious beliefs, all these are influences that can mask the fact that we have options.
Facing how much free will and choice we actually have is a scary proposition. For example, acknowledging that we are not, in fact, trapped in a bad relationship, that we have no obligation to remain a victim of circumstance, means making a conscious decision to stay or to go. We come face to face with our fears. Regardless of what others may say or do, the decision is ours. We are responsible.
It is a good thing to have options whether we exercise them or not. Consciously acknowledging to ourselves our power of choice, the full potency of our free will, the real scope of the options before us is not only empowering but frees us from many traps.