Saturday, May 9, 2015

How I Know I"m on the Right Path

Today has been challenging.  That’s a nice way of saying I dealt with fear, anger, impatience, fatigue, and the possibilities of loss and failure.  And yet…and yet…I keep coming back.  This is not from any great strength of character or courage.  I simply see no alternatives but to pursue the course set before me.  Even if I am left alone and bereft of hope, I have no choice but to continue.  This is also not from shortsightedness or intransigence.  I can change if I need to.  I can even alter my course if it is truly required.  But it’s not.  I’m on the right path.
How do I know, truly know, I am on the right path?  The answer is I don’t, not with 100% certainty.  Very few things in life are certain.  But there are some indicators that help.
1.                     The heart knows. Often the concept of the heart is overly romanticized and overused.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t teach us and guide us. There is something within all of us that tells what we are supposed to do.  It doesn’t speak all the time, but when it does, we should listen.   The heart can lead us to the right job, the right person, the right life.
2.                     People we trust support us.  Not everyone, but there are those, whose hearts align with ours who support us.  They support us because they want the best for us.
3.                     There are problems.  Now this may seem contradictory, but good things, great things, don’t come easily.  If they did, they would be worthless.  It’s only climbing up the hill that tests and strengthens our character and endurance.  In my entire life, I have never attained anything worth having without tremendous struggle.  When I get it, (and I always do), I am a new and better man.  But not because of what I got, but because of what it took to get it.  Lack of effort has almost always led to disaster for me.  The only thing that should be effortless is the love we feel for our path.  Everything I’ve done in the last three years, my Muse, writing, history, has taken time and effort, but no matter what trials or obstacles I encounter, I want to go back immediately.  
For example, my Master’s degree program feels like it’s going to kill me some days.  There are days when all I do is homework.  When I finally finish an assignment, I find myself wanting to read more history, even though I don’t have to.  When my Muse seems far away, I still want to be with her, so I keep writing. 
Maybe I’ve said all this before, but I need to remember that I am a Champion. I don’t always act like it, but I am one nonetheless.  What am I a Champion at?   Of not giving up, no matter how hard it seems.  I am a Champion because I Get Started and I Keep Going.