Facing Forward

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“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
Joseph Campbell

For as long as I am able to recall, September has marked for me the true beginning of a new year. A fresh start. A time to begin something, perhaps even reinvent myself. Anything is possible: good, bad, and just about everything in between. It is the point from which a new path may be taken and old baggage may be left behind, or at least those parcels that no longer serve me.

I stand in the early days of September 2014, simultaneously thinking back and looking forward. The lazy warm days of summer gradually giving way to cool, crisp days that call me to action. As a grown woman, I am no longer required to attend school, but the yearning to learn, to grow, to discover new things about the world and about myself remains strong, especially at this time of the year.

For you see, I have inadvertently begun a spiritual journey, one that I truly had no intention of embarking upon. In all honesty, my journey began many years ago, yet it is only now that I am able to accept that this journey will take the rest of my life to travel. I have also come to accept that although I will find peace at the end of my journey, many times along the way I will be challenged, I will lose my way and find it again, I will lose my faith and gain it back, and I will learn things about myself that I never wanted to know, all with the hope of discovering my life’s purpose. Along the way, I will meet many people who will guide me, provide me with clues, but it is I who must walk this path alone and carry my own pack, so I must be cautious of what I choose to carry with me lest my pack become too heavy to bear.

It is terrifying when you finally realize that most things in life are completely out of your control, but once you learn to trust that each step forward will ultimately take you where you are meant to go, it actually becomes easier to take each wobbly tentative step. Tripping and falling are an integral part of the journey, a lesson in learning how to continue when you cannot see what is ahead you, and how to get back up again when you stumble.

Facing forward and keeping the mind open to whatever direction God and the universe see fit to send us, we never really know just where the next turn will lead. I have learned to trust that everything happens for a reason, and that eventually the reason will be revealed to me when I am ready to accept it.

And so my path will be revealed to me only as I continue moving forward.

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