I really wish I could have come up with a more original title but at that I failed. I am not that “original” unfortunately (insert laughter sound here. haha)…To give credit where it’s due, this post was inspired by a conversation I had midweek with a friend (thanks Manxo)… two claps for Manxo y’all!!
I have heard so many people reflect on the “journey to knowing yourself”, how it reveals so much of who you are and how it allows you to “learn soooo much more about yourself”. That’s true, I think, and that journey differs from one person to another. Gosh, I’ll stop using journey now, it’s a little on the cliché side of life.Ha!! One of the coolest quotes I’ve heard – which has also become one of my favorites – is “the journey is the destination” by Dan Eldon. Boom, MIND.BLOWN!!!Or at least I was. My first response was, “what does that even mean” but, seriously speaking, this changed my perspective on a couple of things.
First, the fact that if I get too focused on where I am going I won’t get to enjoy the process as much as is possible. There is so much pleasure that comes from realizing that there is forward movement or that situations are not holding you down and preventing progress from happening. Think about it this way, focusing on the end goal rather than on the process that will eventually get you there is like living everyday focusing on the day you will die rather than on the life you are living. Don’t get me wrong, the idea is not to live goalless lives, goals are important. Just as important, though, is embracing the process.
I have realized that there is more to be learnt in the process of getting to a goal rather than the goal itself. For me, this realization has come with understanding that a goal is more like a landmark that prevents you from getting lost and living an idle life. I am reminded of how my parents (and most Swazi’s I know, really) give directions to people. They will be like, “drive until you see a school. Once you see the school, make a left turn and then a right turn at the big tree. Keep driving until you see a small market and then the destination will be on the left”. Goals are like the school, the tree and the market. They are not the purpose of the drive but rather the indicators of whether or not the drive has come to an end. I mean, when it comes down to it, we spend waaaaaay more time in the process rather than in the actual celebration of achieving a goal because once we achieve one goal, it’s time to move to the next one (unless of course we want to be idle then we can just relax at the one goal and not move forward. Where is the fun in that?).
All this to say, I am constantly learning that the fun comes in learning, realizing that I know something that I didn’t know yesterday and then realizing that there is so much more I need to learn. Failure will happen when you get to a new thing. I for one have failed countless times when a new challenge comes my way and that has enhanced the path that I am on but, there’s nothing as fun as getting to a place where that same challenge comes at you down the line and you succeed without breaking a sweat. I always feel like such a winner in life when that happens!!!!
So, for me, the “journey to self-discovery” is being reminded every day that I am on a journey. Hold up now, what am I even saying. haha…For real though, it’s understanding – or rather trying to understand (because goodness gracious it can be so hard to understand) – that the definition of self is always changing…And then embracing that. It is realizing that once I discover a part of myself, I have to discover something new that I didn’t realize was even a component of who I am. It is discovering that what we see as the core, the foundation, of who self is will be consistent, even unchanging, but the peripheral components of self are evolving. It’s also understanding that I can never resign myself to the self that I have “discovered” because that might,and probably will, change. The journey to self-discovery, well, we don’t have to push it. It’s a natural part of living and being so for me it is not a specific season of my life, it’s an all-day every-day occurrence.
So next time someone says you have changed, let them know the core is still the same but that you have discovered a new component of the peripheral. Next time someone tells you they are in a season journey to self-discovery, wish them luck because that season might never end!!!
“God, your God, has blessed you in everything you have done. He has guarded you in your travels through this immense wilderness. For forty years now, God, your God, has been right here with you. You haven’t lacked one thing.” Deuteronomy 2:7 [MSG]