“People are hypocrites” she proclaims. “No one lives the life they want.”
I have said those same words myself, or something similar, though it probably contained expletives and self pity.
How do I tell her what I have learned in a single online conversation? How do I tell her that there was a time in my life that I shared that view? How do I explain that my change of view was both instantaneous and took many years?
I had the four bedroom house on an acre of land with a six car garage, a cabin on a private lake, a boat, motorcycles, off road 4×4, a recording studio in my basement, my own construction company, everything I thought I needed to be happy, and in a moment of human failure I lost everything.
Even though it initially brought with it a physical, as well was emotional, pain it also brought a proclamation of “FREEDOM!”, shouted in big screen fashion, it took many more years to understand that none of the stuff I gathered and lost over the years ever really mattered.
At the time of the “loss” it felt like I had been robbed of my entire world. Like I was condemned. Cursed.
Now, looking back with unclouded eyes, I can see that I was most miserable when I had everything I thought I wanted.
It took many miles to discover that what I was missing couldn’t be found on a piece of land or in a store or online or was anything I could carry in my pocket or drive or use in any way.
What I was missing was found inside and I found it only by enduring, surviving, and exploring with gratitude the journey that my life became.
I discovered is that the journey itself is life.
Not the prescribed “this will make you happy” copywriting on a box of sugar sweetened cereal or the dictated image of perfection programmed by hours in front of a screen that insisted I couldn’t be happy unless I owned the latest fashion or drove the newest car or smelled a certain way or walked a certain way or looked a certain way or spoke a certain way.
The struggles and joys and passions and pains and heartbreaks are each but a single step along the paths of our lives.
Today my journey brings me back to the acquisition of “stuff”, but not in the way it did back then. Today my intentions guide both my needs and desires as they apply to others. They tell me that the life I have led these past years, paying off old debt, finding myself and being true to that Self, exposing my underbelly to the entire world, ready to feast on it, without fear, was necessary. Essential.
Each step I have made has led me here to this place of love and gratitude.
Now, in complete surrender to, and acceptance of, a grace that I work to prove my worth of receiving, I push forward with plans left by the roadside long ago.
Plans to live. Fully. One step at a time.
Because life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.