Over the years, I have discovered that life truly is a journey. From the moment you are born you embark on a journey—the journey of life. The metaphor of life as a journey is a familiar one; it is found in the classical literature as well as in the Bible. The Odyssey of Homer describes Ulysses’ ten year journey from Troy to his home in Ithaca. And from Genesis to Revelation, Scripture is full of people on the move. There are many words, phrases, and expressions connected to life that uses the metaphor of a journey. We hear people say: I don’t know where I’m headed; We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it; they’re over the hill; forget about it and move on; I don’t know which direction I’m headed and the list could go on. It makes sense, because we human beings are journeying people. We make sense of our lives by understanding them as journeys, as the unfolding story of who we are and what we do in this world. We think and talk and worry about our careers, families, finances, beliefs, and plans. All ways of thinking about our lives, our stories, about the journey that has been, and the journey that will be. In some deep way, journeying is an elemental part of who we are as human beings.
This metaphor, the image of life as a journey is what I have chosen to represent this counseling practice. Life is a journey, although sometimes we forget it. Life becomes so busy and we become so preoccupied with our immediate concerns that we don’t step back and see the whole picture. Life is a journey filled with lessons, hardships, heartaches, joys, celebrations and special moments that will ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose in life. The road will not always be smooth; in fact throughout our travels, we will encounter many challenges. There will be roadblocks, detours, landmarks, bumps and forks in the road. Some of these challenges will test our courage, strengths, weaknesses and faith. How we react to what we face determines what kind of outcome the rest of our journey will be like.
So what is going on in your life journey? Each of us from time to time experience crisis from different life changing events and transitions. Most have experienced the ups and downs and wonder about the meaning of life. Some have endured great tragedies and others have had to cope with serious illness. Others have spent a lifetime recovering from dysfunctional childhoods. Therefore, I encourage you to think about your “journey”. What changes might you want to make. What roadblocks might be in your way of living a more peaceful and purpose filled life? When we pretend we don’t have a problem, thinking maybe it will go away, life usually becomes more complicated. The next problem that comes your way then has an added layer of unresolved emotions and lessons. Millions of people suffer from emotional distress in silence. Sometimes denying or doubting they can be helped. No matter how severe your situation is right now, please accept these truths: You do not have to go through it alone and Professional help is available.
The future doesn’t have to look like the past! There is a better path. Let the Journey begin!