I hadn’t been around on this planet for long before I realised that life wasn’t always going to be ‘a breeze’. My first (very vivid) memories are of being 3 months old and I can still, very clearly, see the things around me – my mother’s clothes, the wall coverings in my bedroom, as well as smelling the hateful powder that it was insisted be used on me (I have always loathed the smell of Johnson’s Baby Powder ever since), and I well remember experiencing the hunger of a rapidly growing baby, as you would expect – well, I am male after all…!
Not much you can do for yourself as a baby, but the eager, fresh young mind is working and trying to figure things out – and watching the Path of Life stretching off into the distance starts to become real experience, signposted with expectations, desires and challenges. Never forget that a baby is watching, thinking and studying the world – it is taking the first steps on its own Path and needs help and encouragement at every stage. As life unfolds, and the years pile on, then other elements creep in – relationships with parents, siblings, toddler ‘friends’ etc. – the ability to go and find food for yourself from the cupboard (I bet we can all remember the excitement of sneaking in to the kitchen without being spotted and having that extra biscuit or bit of cake when we were only just old enough to be able to reach the kitchen worktops by standing on a chair?) – and then there was the horrendously difficult experience of school……
All, in all, life has its challenges at any and every age – perhaps we will discuss these more in the future – but it is the principle I want us to consider for now.
Life is a journey, an exploration of ourselves, and a challenge at many levels and in many ways. Interestingly (well, it is to me) is how one person’s challenge is sometimes of no consequence to someone else… For me it was (primarily) always my interactions with people that caused my biggest difficulties… I know now it is because of how my brain is ‘wired’ but no-one had any clue back then (1950s, 60s, etc.) so being ‘accepted’ wasn’t something that happened to me very often. Living a life of isolation (from other people’s feelings) drives you to look inside yourself for your own advice and counsel, makes you find and depend on your own innate strengths, and forces you to examine cause and effect in much more detail then people who seem to float through life as though on that first-mentioned ‘breeze’.
But, and here is the crux of what I am trying to say – and I apologise for the side-tracking by baby powder, and cake – each and every person has their OWN sets of problems to deal with – ones that are hard for THEM to handle, even if they may not seem like a problem to you, or even to anyone else you know.
The Path we travel is very much one that is ours individually, and not one belonging to someone else, but we can take great heart and comfort from the fact that it is one we can travel with shed-loads of experience handed down from others ahead of us and alongside us (if we want to learn from them), and it is a journey where we can also help others travel theirs – think of us all on a massive road together in this world – and doing what we can to keep everyone buoyed up and encouraged – sometimes we need more help than we can give out, but other times, when we have perhaps found a way over some specific obstacle, or round some particular problem, and it is then we can help a fellow traveller on their way too. Remember our discussion on Ripples, last time… it’s that sort of positive ripple effect that helps all of us travel better together, as a great group of Humanity, through this life 🙂
Peace, good health, enjoy The Path 🙂
‘Often, as we travel this path that is our life, we are shrouded in doubt, cannot see more than a short distance ahead, and have concerns about where we are heading. Things can seem dark and suffocating, as the smoke of a personal conflict, problem or sadness stings our eyes. There are always trip hazards, ready to cause us to stumble and doubt ourselves. We might sometimes lose all sense of direction completely, and have to stop for a while, to gather our strength, worrying that we do not have the ability to continue.
But consider the traveller on their chosen road (just like any of us) – there are times when mist surrounds them, perhaps a rough surface slows their progress, they may be thirsty, hungry, too hot or too cold, or a throng of other people makes quiet travel impossible for a time. In all things the traveller must have faith in the road continuing to its destination as it should, even when they cannot see it clearly, or it is hard to endure. So too, with our lives. Our path in life may have periods of being uneven, or its direction unclear, but it is still there, still waiting for us, and it is ours personally to travel and experience, no-one else’s. Take strength from the fact that many have walked even more difficult paths, with less strength, and yet have reached their goal with courage, faith and perseverance, finding peace and hope as they enjoy the life they have been given.’
~ Gaius Quinterus