December 15, 2004

Joy in the Journey

"We need deliberately to call to mind the joys of our journey."
--George A. Buttrick

During one of my sessions with Lynn, the topic of our conversation was how I view everything as black or white.

"There's no in between with you, Hope," she declared. "Everything is either black or white."

Suddenly it dawned on me. While I lived this daily, hearing the words come from someone else was an eye-opener.

The perfectionist in me only allowed me to view every stage of my life as either a failure or a success. And in that bleary way of reasoning, I believed that most of my life was a failure.

"You have to see these things in a different way," Lynn admonished me. "These are not failures, but rather journeys. Your life is a journey. So what you didn't finish college! What did you learn from that?"

I couldn't see the forest for the trees. My life, which should have been a celebration of joy, had only been a lists of all the things I'd done wrong or things I'd never completed.

I never once stopped to recognize the fact that I was brave enough to try all these things and go through the wonderful experiences. Instead, I chose to focus on the negative aspect and berate myself for it.

In everything we do, we should never lose focus of the joy in it. Life is not a destination, but rather a journey. Our journey is filled with ups and downs. In the end, we should reflect and smile, knowing that we lived joyfully through the journey.