There are countless things that exhort us to remember that “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” All manner of trite crap that has to be dusted is stocked in countless gift shops.
I was up in the wee hours this morning talking to a friend who-having previously been gut punched emotionally-was riding the gyrostat.
I found myself using that cliché. And having it brushed off because it IS a cliché. But there is a great deal of truth to it.
On the big scale: it’s true about Life. We’re all rushing toward Death. Knowing that destination, you don’t really have a choice except to make it about the journey. PS- this is a key point; don’t forget it.
On the medium scale: it’s true about…well…lots. Would I have not had my children if I had known they would die? No, what I learned from them was worth it. Would I have not loved so passionately if I had known the flames would flare up, consuming me and leaving ashes? Didn’t the cinders of my heart eventually find new life and grow again? Would I have been so open to the friend that betrayed me? Wasn’t it a painful lesson that taught me about mercy and compassion? Does a childhood filled with the terrors that still give nightmares keep me from remembering the stacks of the LA central library with smiles? And aren’t books still some of my greatest friends?
On the small scale: Would I have put so many hours into that project if I had known just how unflattering it would be? I did learn new techniques, spent time enjoying the yarn, and discovered something valuable about my physiology. That unfortunate episode in the salon? That outfit in the closet? Those delicious tidbits that stuck to my waistline? All ended poorly but were fun in the making.
The bottom line: I think fear comes from trying to control the outcome. And that joy is found-or rejected- in the journey.