“The journey through life is filled with wonder, challenges, broken hearts, extreme highs and lows, celebrations, special moments and memories that define our experience as a human. It is these events, planned or unexpected, that impact our travels and define our purpose.” -Livingwelldyingwell.org
I took a break from the life hustle and took a walk this past weekend with my youngest daughter. As we talked, it became very obvious that we saw our excursion quite differently, even though we were physically in the same space. She wanted to know where we were going. I just wanted to be where I was in the moment. Those two ideas or ideals of existence seem to be at constant odds in my own life. People are always telling me to slow down, take it easy, enjoy the ride. I hear them but, I counter, I’m on a mission. I often have to remind myself to “Trust the process”. Either way it’s revealed to us or we choose to see, it’s going from one place to another… or is it?
We’ve all probably seen the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on calendars, mugs, mousepads, posters, and pretty much anything else in print “Life is a journey, not a destination.” The complication that comes with claiming life a journey, not a destination, is that is seems to suggest that we must always be going, traveling to somewhere beyond here. It’s like being on a bus and seeing where you would like to get off but can’t because the vehicle has somewhere to be. That becomes the proverbial hamster wheel of life for so many of us. We are going through life rather than being in life. Compare that to going through love rather than being in it. People like me who always feel an incredible magnitude to movement are compelled to be perpetually on the go. This puts me in a position of feeling productive only when I am in motion. I know this is not healthy and may even be counter productive. Everything need periods of stasis to fuel dynamicity and vice versa. In the times when I’m feeling that I have to turn way up to get there because of lost time, I start the coaxing, trust the process. Trust the process. The time wasn’t lost, It was invested…planted.
The questioning that sprang from thinking on these things brought me to the root word of question itself, quest: a noun first that means a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something. As an action word we search, seek, or pursue. We live in that state, whether we realize it or not. Even when I take those walks with no set destination I am still in quest for something, whether it be simply fresh air or peace or peace of mind. Seeing life as a quest seems to allow far more time and space to just be rather than be doing. This inspires a more natural unfolding over a forced making of things to be.
A quest is both personal and universal in that we are on it in a world filled with others who are on theirs and we interact in what we called relationships – an essential part of a quest. No one part of the quest carries more weight than the other. The periods of rest and recreation and periods of intense einitiative are all in the recipe of your quest. Each part of the equation adds up to who and what we are in this space. Whether it’s a walk along a dirt road with my daughter or the work that earns me a Nobel Peace Prize, it’s all a part of the quest. We get to title it how we will, underscored. We are the sum total of everything we have touched and been touched by. It’s an inescapable reality of being…in quest.