My Path, My Compass

An interesting concept, isn’t it? Or is it a treadmill that I have unknowingly built for myself? The trap of a ‘settle for’ life that requires no introspection? Perhaps a life that has little memory of the spontaneous child – so full of possibilities – before the adults in our families fed him to a society that welcomed and fashioned him for its own purposes.

Reaching adulthood ourselves, notice how we stand up tall, almost in defiance and declare that we are our own person and living our own life, our way. Are we? Am I? Is that declaration really coming from my heart? Is it a reaction? ‘I’ll show them!’ Is life too risky to play it the way my heart would like me to play it?

If it is my path and mine alone then why is it influenced so much by my family and friends? It isn’t, you say? Really? Why do I try to make sure it pleases them, or perhaps lives on in my reaction to what they have done to my childhood?

No one ever promised me that life would be easy. So why am I concerned about whether it is a comfortable journey? ‘I’m just not comfortable doing this. I’m not too comfortable doing that.’ Sound familiar? Good heavens, haven’t I had enough suffering? Why would I intentionally choose something that may be uncomfortable or cause real suffering? Been there done that, so why choose more of it?

So, what if I am encountering some suffering or discomfort on my chosen path? How do I explain that to my friends? Well, there is the money. With enough of that, I can justify any of my choices. Everyone around me certainly does, especially if they have more stuff than I do. When meeting new people, the first few sentences after the introduction invariably lead into my job, my house and my bank account. Of course you have to listen very carefully because our society has provided the subtlety for us to get those answers without being pushy.
In a society where our problems and woes are remedied by shopping trips or travel, others want to know if we are part of that gang. That would make us all ‘comfortable.’
But I sometimes think some of those others are hoping I can provide some relief from their endless days on the treadmill, perhaps some secret to doing something that we thought we were promised.

The result is stress. Stress-relieving workshops are plentiful out there. Meditation? Yep, let’s add that as well. We meditate ‘in order to’ have something like ‘reduced stress.’ Will that work? Probably not since we are ‘trying to get somewhere less stressful’ and the evidence is that we aren’t going anywhere.

Do I measure the effectiveness of any developmental workshop by the way I feel after the exercise? If I am motivated and my spirits have been lifted, isn’t that a sign that I am going in the right direction? If not, then how does one measure the correctness of one’s path? What I sometimes don’t want to address is that having my spirits lifted may be like a drug, just another form of temporary mental manipulation – like cheer leading – which provides a boost in the moment and then…?

It’s at that ‘and then…?’ moment where we must face the person in the mirror and ask if that person is your creation or someone else’s. Is the person in the mirror the person you hoped to become? If not, what happened? Whose path has he been trying so desperately to follow? Has the joy of an anticipated life been subjected to the ‘should and need to’ of a commerce-driven society?
Or are these questions that we have no time to ask? Would my life be severely disrupted if I had to confront my mirror?

To get somewhere you need to know where you are. Am I living as my soul’s code has determined or do I even remember that code? The next point of inquiry would be ‘How do I remember, if I have forgotten?’ That is the question that matters most at any point in life.

About Rich

See my 'Who? Me?' post.
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