Pathways ““ A Joined Journey

Pathways ““ A Joined Journey


Every day we get up, brush ourselves off and walk forward. At least that is what we should be doing. The moment our eyes open to the dawn and our mind awakens, decisions are made. Such decisions direct our actions and our emotions and help us to determine just how we will walk our walk. Whether we have a bounce in our step (carefree from worry and pain) or agony in each movement, we are the ones who must make the choice to move. And if that movement is in the direction of, or away from, others our journey will reflect those choices.

I had a remarkable moment of clarity after reading the previous article to my child whose story was told within it. He sat intently listening to what I had written, contemplating his role and responsibilities in it. The story talked about his feelings of not belonging and being left out of a group of boys his same age. He sat silent for some time afterwards and then, with much maturity, informed me of the personal responsibility he accepts in his alienation from others. His words were something like, “You know mom, if I feel alone and left out it is because I walked away and allowed myself to be alone and left out.” Wow, to think that a young teenage boy could remove his hurt feelings enough to take ownership of something so difficult was enough to bring tears to this mom’s eyes. Through further conversation I knew that he understood the importance of his role in belonging and that blame is almost never one sided.

Some friendships nurtured are natural and easy to develop, whereas others may be difficult and troublesome. The question that has to be addressed is, “What, or who, is worth the effort?” Before we write off another because of the challenges and stress they may add to our life, we should first try to understand life through their eyes and with empathy decide if they are worth it. This decision of worth should not be determined soley through what they add or take away but also what we may add to and take away from them. By seeing through another’s eyes we are more apt to want to help them with their trials. Yes, some of you will read this and automatically connect to someone you know who is high maintenance, toxic, negative and so on. But, if you still have a connection with these challenging souls, what have you done to help them in becoming more tolerable? Maybe all that is needed to change the nature of one’s heart is to have another “Draw a circle that lets them in.”

Not one of us is walking perfection. Each has something that another would not like. Does that give reason to ostracize or leave alone, or give reason to walk away? There are only two things that I feel we take with us at journey’s end. The first is our knowledge we have acquired through the days of our lives, and the second is our relationships. Do you know of, or are you, someone who has left a church group, community group or work association because of hurt feelings? By doing so, the hurt you choose to inflict is on yourself. Sometimes people can just be cruel, and those associations are best left alone. But other times it may just take another person to take the time or effort needed to get to know others.

It takes courage to step forward when it is easier to step back and walk away. As difficult as relationships may be, they can also become some of the most rewarding ventures life has to offer. My challenge to myself this day is to find someone that I have walked away from in the past and turn my heart and direction around that we may walk side by side, even if for a brief moment, just to let them know that they are important. Hopefully, with practice, I will become accountable to my relationships with others and learn to build bridges where walls have once stood.

In Other’s Words:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

~Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!)~

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