There are some journeys’ of the mind that seem to always begin the same. A state of mind that brings about familiarity. A place where we have been before. No matter how many paths we blaze in between this place somehow we find ourselves returning. Perhaps it is a default setting we have been hardwired or trained to return to when life throws us a curve ball. It is our roadmap. Sometimes not always the most accurate while other times it lacks the updated modifications. However current we often cling to it as our only resource in reference to dealing with certain unknowns.
My journey always begins on the same dark unnamed highway at night. The only visible guidance are the lines on the highway and cautionary signs. Memories of past trips along this highway remind me that there was once a time when my map resembled a blank piece of paper. Back then there were not necessarily wrong turns but as the journey progressed it gave light to the fact that there existed better turns. You assimilate knowledge through choices.
As you gain experience with life the roadmap begins to fill out and you begin to recognize landmarks from past mistakes or a rest stop that prevented you from falling asleep at the wheel. There are even intersections that instinctually cause us to want to turn left. A vestige of past mistakes in past journeys that give us pause in our decisions. Sometimes on our dark journey we are helped by a stranger that helps fix a flat. As we drive throughout the night to see the sun break our dark horizons we can learn. We gain knowledge that we can quantify in our memories and allow us to recognize certain truths of our journey.
I have recently embarked upon such a journey. Here I was in the drivers seat staring at those highway lines. The same ones that have mesmerized me into oblivion and personal despair with past propensity. In the beginning as a I drove throughout the night of isolation it was no different that any other time I found myself in this place yet there was a key difference…my roadmap. It’s presence not immediately beneficial as surely the indulgence of my malaise got the best of me but a slow phenomenon and progression began to formulate. Information inference that acted as a ruder and soon my whirlpool of directionless despondency began to dissipate.
It would seem that help always presents itself. However it is up to us not only recognize it but accept and apply it. Despite our connection as a result of our human condition we can often behave autonomously. Interactions often are not intended to assuage the most deeply personal needs of the situation but we can assign whatever purpose we want to it. The most meaningless interaction can have huge significance or vice versa. We help or hurt sometimes without realizing it as a reaction to the interpretation of our assigned intent. The important thing is to understand that while the benefit of help may not be immediately recognizable it is important groundwork that has limitless potential in its ultimate significance. In some instances we will go through our entire life without knowing how an action we never thought twice about changed somebody forever by giving them a new perspective that anchored a new thought process and ended up as a significant marker on their roadmap.
Immediate gratification in progress is just that. But progress is progress. It is the slow progression of ourselves that can define our journey. It is a patience to see our own road maps grow in complexity and ‘right’ turns in order to better equip us the next time we find ourselves in that familiar place…..at the beginning of that same dark road.