The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: August 2012

Pathwalking 35

“In order to have faith in our own path, we don’t need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong”.  – Paulo Coelho

In the process of Pathwalking, we all encounter people who are unsupportive of our effort.  But sometimes that goes even further.  Sometimes they are determined to show us that our path is wrong.

This is ultimately more disheartening than a lack of support.  Having someone actively taking the time and effort to show you that your own path is wrong can be very hurtful, very upsetting.

And of course, being only human, sometimes our reaction is to give exactly what we are getting.  And that is no help to anyone, either.

When we react to negativity with negativity, guess what we get?  Yup – more negatives.

So – what DO you do when someone is out to prove that your chosen path is wrong?

Different things will work for different people, and this is also dependent on what that person is DOING in order to prove that you’ve chosen the wrong path.  It begins with how the perceived sabotage makes you react.

For me, the initial reaction is usually a mix of hurt, anger, disbelief.  Why are you working so hard to knock over the sandcastle I am building?  If I give in to these negative emotions, the downward spiral begins.

First I have to note that while the attack feels personal, it is not.  They are attacking the path I have chosen, not ME, directly.  What they do not realize is that the path is so much a part of me that this might as well be a personal attack.  But as I have said previously – other people may trigger feelings in you, but YOU are the one to feel them.  And we have choices.  We ALWAYS have choices.

The anger, the hurt, the resentment must be allowed to pass.  Can’t deny these feelings, can’t ignore them…I have to accept how this makes me feel, but then choose to not hold onto those negative feelings.

The next step is analysis.  Why is this person set against my path?  Is this something about him/her, or is it me?  Do they see something I do not?  Can they show me something I am missing?  Are they jealous of my choice?  What sort of things are going on in their life that might drive them to be negative towards me?  Is this person important to my life?

That last is an interesting question of perspective.  Who the person is makes a big difference.  Family, friend, acquaintance, co-worker, random friend-of-a-friend?  There is a hierarchy of importance amongst the people in our lives, and that will directly impact how their opinion of us and the things we are doing affects us.  This will help to determine if we need/want to respond to the negativity, or outright disregard and ignore it.

Should I choose to respond, it will usually be along the lines of the following:  I appreciate your opinion, but respectfully disagree or I will take that into consideration or I’m sorry you feel that way, but this is what I am choosing or simply Thank you.

The key to the response is to not counter with your own negativity.  Don’t feed the fire.  The person you are perceiving to be knocking your chosen path may mean well, may just not understand or be even capable of understanding.  They may even just be looking to start a fight because of their own issues.  If it happens to BE malicious, well, then I would suppose this person isn’t really a friend.  But that’s a whole other notion.

Pathwalking is about empowering the self.  Some people do not like to see others empowered, or are uncomfortable with it, and so they do things to try to disempower.  This, however, is the reason why you cannot strike back.  Just because they are trying to prove YOUR path is wrong, does not mean you return that in kind.

Disempowering another denies YOU the empowerment you are seeking for yourself.  There is never a need to disempower others, in especial when seeking you own path and your own empowerment.  Knocking someone else down to prop yourself up is not choosing your own path, it is actually giving your own empowerment away.

Our paths may intersect from time to time, and while we may disagree with the choices someone is making, we will never be able to help them change that by trying to prove them wrong.  They have to fail or succeed of their own accord.  And if they ask for an assessment from us, we need to not attack, but take a neutral, constructive approach.  Wouldn’t it be great if our so-called “leaders” caught onto THAT notion?

The sense of empowerment that comes from Pathwalking is healthy.  It feels good.  One of the things that this choice might do is inspire others to consider their own options.  No two paths are exactly alike, and where our faith might come from differs, and this is not about “right” or “wrong”, it is about choosing to be active instead of reactive to life.

“In order to have faith in our own path, we don’t need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong”.  Wise words indeed.

 

This is the thirty-fifth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Empowerment

Why does empowerment scare the government so badly?

The easy answer is because they feel we will need them less if we have our own power.  That’s the short answer.  The full answer, however, takes a bit more thought.

What IS empowerment, anyhow?  That’s the tough question.  Let’s turn to our friend dictionary.com for the answer:

em·pow·er

verb (used with object)

1. to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means: I empowered my agent to make the deal for me. The local ordinance empowers the board of health to close unsanitary restaurants.

2. to enable or permit: Wealth empowered him to live a comfortable life.

Empowerment as a direct concept, however, is about the self.  We have the ability to take our own power and authority, without it being “given” by another.  In fact, realistically, ALL power begins with the self.

In other words – no one else has power, or is empowered, unless WE give that power.

This is a hard truth to accept, and for a lot of people, is not something easily believed.  We see the wealthy, we see business and government leaders, and we see what they do, and the authority they wield.  We find ourselves thinking that they have ALL this power, ALL this ability – but truth is, they only have as much power as WE give them.

It is easier for many people to give away power.  Turn to an authority figure for guidance and leadership, whether a business leader, politician, religious leader, parent, or what-have-you.  This is far easier than thinking for ourselves, easier than making our own decisions.

The problem is, if we come to rely on this more than ourselves we deny ourselves power.  The more we empower others, the more we disempower ourselves.  And if this goes far enough, before you know it, the power is out of your hands entirely, and someone else has authority over decisions that should belong to you and you alone.

Look at our modern society.  We are so quick to give away power.  There so many we hand off power to, for so very many reasons.  And we give away so much power to others, we keep less and less for ourselves.

But in doing this, we wind up taking away our own rights.  Unless you are living under a rock, you’ve seen the arguments about the so-called “war on women” being raged in politics right now.  Trouble is – this is a very real movement to disempower women.

Let’s just get one simple fact out of the way – NO ONE should be dictating what someone else does with THEIR body.  Sorry, but no MAN has any right WHATSOEVER to tell a woman if she can take birth control, get an abortion, or carry a child to term.  That is HER decision, and it belongs to NO ONE ELSE.  Period.

And yet there are a number of politicians and others who are actively speaking out on this topic.  And they are planning to create laws that will control these things.  Things that no government should hold ANY control over, period.

It DOES NOT MATTER, for the record, if you are pro-life, anti-contraception, or whatever.  Your moral, religious, and philosophical viewpoint is unimportant.  Sorry.  DOES NOT MATTER.  A woman has the sole right to choose what she will do with HER body.  She should not have to fear that if she is raped and impregnated she’ll have no option but to bear a child she does not desire.  And just when DID we go back to the 1950’s, anyhow??

But I digress.  This is about empowerment.  This topic just happens to be a perfect example.  If you are a woman, you need to be aware of these people, and you need to NOT empower them.  You need to empower yourself, and keep the rights you are entitled to.

This goes for us men, too.  We have to support these rights and freedoms for women.  We need to do our part to not empower these dangerous, backwards-thinking individuals.

This brings me back to the question I started with.  Why does empowerment scare the government so badly?  Because they want to have all the power, all the authority, and all the control.  If we are self-empowered, they lose that.  They lose the ability to control things like this, which they truly have no right to be in control of.  If we are empowered, they fear they will be disempowered.

Do we need these leaders?  Do we need the authority figures?  It’s a double-edged sword, really.  Yes, because there are people who either will not or truly cannot make decisions, there is a need for people as leaders and authorities.  However, how much they are empowered by us we can control.

Those of us who are capable of self-empowerment, who understand why that is both necessary and important, can be a check on the empowerment of these so-called leaders and authorities.  We can, and we MUST, really, keep better checks on how much we empower them, so that we are not disempowering ourselves.

Yes, this is admittedly a slippery slope.  Empower ourselves, empower others…and find a true balance.  But with all things in life, moderation is the key.  We need the government to maintain infrastructure, collect taxes, and provide laws geared towards keeping us safe.  What we do NOT need them doing is undermining individual civil rights, and what we do with our bodies.  Not their place.  Not what we are empowering them to do, when all is said and done.

The concept of the individual versus an enormous entity like the government may seem insurmountable.  But remember, you can empower yourself, and from there, perhaps, be an example to help empower others.  Because the more we empower ourselves, the more we share in that and empower others, the less outside forces can disempower us.

Being self empowered might seem like quite the responsibility.  But isn’t it better than letting someone else you don’t even know dictate your life for you?

Pathwalking 34

What makes a person deviate from the path they are walking?  How does a person who has been walking a very good life path wreck that path to the point where the path no longer exists and no other path can be started?

I was asked these questions in response to a previous post, and believe that it bears its own entry in the Pathwalking series, and a more in-depth analysis.

What makes a person deviate from the path they are walking?  The answer is varied, and can be any one or combination of these – outside influences like family, friends and business associates; a loss of faith in the path they have chosen; a change of heart, a feeling that the choice made thus far is incorrect; perhaps gaining knowledge that shows this particular path they are on simply does not work for them anymore; a change of goals, possibly encountered along the journey; a terrible loss, a marriage, a birth…some other similar life changing event.

As previously mentioned, the path is seldom singular, and not without twists and turns.  A deviation is bound to happen, as inevitably as change will occur.  No way to avoid it, it’s just a question of how you react to it, and regain control of the path.

Some deviations are harder to deal with than others.  Some are not desired, and as such having to deal with them adds an unwanted complexity to the process.

How does a person who has been walking a very good life path wreck that path to the point where the path no longer exists and no other path can be started?  I think this question, though, is more challenging to address. While I have never experienced this, I can imagine there are all kinds of ways.

Perhaps you make a mistake along the way – something that seems insignificant, but changes how you live, what you are capable of doing; you learn that you’ve been wrong about a core belief, like your religion or your spiritual path or similar; you lose faith and heart and, probably most seriously of all, hope. When all hope is gone, sight of the path can be totally lost.

Pathwalking requires faith, requires heart, requires hope.  Believing in what you are choosing, believing in a world of disbelievers and skeptics in something greater than the norm is a bold, hard step to take.  Losing that along the way, I would suppose, could be terrifically devastating.

I believe that you can never reach a point where the path is utterly gone, and cannot be restarted. But then, that’s a part of who I am as a person, and my own world view. I have had crisis of faith and heart along the way, but have never lost all hope, all faith, to the point where ALL paths were gone. They were obscured, almost impossible to fathom…but not gone entirely.

I would presume that is the point where a person might become suicidal or homicidal. I would guess that if it seems that you have nothing – no hope, no faith, no love – and lose the desire and passion to live, let alone choose and walk a path, you might reach such a point.

Perhaps it is exactly that which drives people to suicides and senseless murders and such.  I can only imagine that for a good person, doing what they can to live their life, a loss of hope, faith and heart could be so devastating, it drives them to a dark, terrible, destructive place.  It’s really hard to do more than speculate, as I have never reached a similar point. But since Pathwalking is about pursuing dreams and goals and choices, which requires faith and hope, it seems logical.

I cannot imagine losing all paths completely.  What horror must you endure to lose your hope, faith, and heart, and lose sight of any path at all?  I’ve know people who have been suicidal for a time, which I have never experienced myself; but to go from a normal existence to perpetrating a horrible crime like the shootings in Aurora or an act of terrorism is impossible to fathom.  What destroys a person so completely that they choose such an awful thing?  I hope that most of us never ever experience this.

As much as Pathwalking is a solo journey, none of us on it are truly alone.  But that can be VERY hard to remember sometimes. I wish that we lived in a world more spiritually connected, akin to how we are technologically connected, to better understand these things, and DO something about them, even.  If more people saw, felt, and understood the connections between us all, the world would be a happier, healthier, more abundant and wondrous place for ALL.

And that is a part of why I write these every week, share my own journey as I walk this path I choose for my life.  Because, when all is said and done, we are all connected spiritually, probably better than the technology of our daily lives connects us.  I believe my choosing to walk my own path, while MY OWN, is not an utterly unique act.  Others make the same choice, and I think sharing my experiences may be helpful.

I have a request.  Pay attention to the people around you.  Note how they are, how they are feeling, and show them your appreciation and love.  That is how each of us can do our small part to help people to NEVER fall to such a terrible, hopeless, pathless place.

 

This is the thirty-fourth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

An open letter to the American voters

Dear American Voters,

Vote intelligently!  Look at the people running – really look at them, pay attention to what they have to say – and don’t be fooled!  Then VOTE!

Apparently, a point has been reached in the political discourse in this country where blatant lies and unsubstantiated accusations don’t derail a candidacy.  Thanks to the immediacy of the 24 hour news cycle, all they care about is the soundbite…and getting it to the masses.

There are some very serious, very scary things these candidates represent.  There is a great deal of repression, discord, and outright warfare being waged by certain politicians on women, homosexuals, Muslims, immigrants and other groups, often in the name of Patriotism or God or some other powerful entity.

People are hearing, nodding their heads, and agreeing that equal pay for women is the reason the economy is a mess; or that gay marriage is eroding the moral fiber of America; or Muslims are all evil and trying to destroy our way of life; or that making billion-dollar-profit-making businesses pay a fair share of the taxes will cut even more jobs – take your pick.  Soundbites and blurbs and Tweets and Facebook posts inundate us every day, telling us how awful things are…and how much worse they will become.

Fact checking?  Only a few media outlets do this – and they are the ones accused of being “liberal” or “biased” or “fringe” or what-have-you.  Nope, the politicians spew their soundbites and bullshit and we hear them, and form our opinions based on what they have said.

My friends – our complacency is going to cost us dearly.  They no longer serve us – they serve themselves.  They serve their financial backers.  They serve the special interests who promise to support them.  They blindly serve their political parties and their inane platforms.

Elections are only a couple months away.  The choices before us are not very appealing, no matter what office – the House, the Senate or the Presidency.  But we have choices…and we cannot be stupid about them.  And more than that – we cannot avoid MAKING choices in this election.

Did you know that Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama have been elected by less than 60% of the registered voters in this country?  (Follow this link for those statistics).  I’m talking about total voter turn-out – less than 60% of the registered voters in this country have bothered to cast a vote in a Presidential election since 1968.  It has been 44 years since voter turnout topped 60%.

That means that just over half of the registered voters in this nation decide the course of our nation.  In 2008 56.8% of registered voters cast ballots.  Think about that a moment.  If there are 200 million registered voters, less than 114 million people bothered to go to their polling stations and cast a vote.

Non-presidential election years have yielded less than 40% of registered voters since 1970.  LESS THAN HALF of registered voters cast ballots in the off cycles.  Does that disturb you as much as it bothers me?

And all that doesn’t even take into account the eligible adults who are not even registered voters.  We need to be aware of the fact that the people who are supposed to be leading this nation are in their place due to only slightly more than half of the registered voters casting votes for them.

My fellow American voters – DO YOUR PART!  In November, VOTE.  Don’t let just slightly more than ½ of the eligible voters decide who gets to lead this country.  Don’t let these criminally unqualified, uneducated smooth talkers gain any further traction, and continue to erode decades of progress.  Be smart, vote smart, and keep the crazies out of politics.

And if you are eligible, but not registered to vote – GET TO IT!  Register to vote.  Take part in the one aspect of the democratic process we have even a semblance of control over.  REGISTER.  VOTE.

We need to stop complaining about the process, and DO something about it.  We need to remind these political animals that they are supposed to work for US.  Working inside the existing framework, we can do our part and cast our votes.

And when you do cast your vote – VOTE INTELLIGENTLY!  Pay attention to what these people running intend, and truly represent.  Let’s keep the naysayers, the dividers, the backwards thinking, progress-overturning whack-jobs out of office (I’m looking at you, Michelle Bachman.  How does someone who has such back-ass-wards points-of-view manage to hold an office, anyhow?  And this is not me offering support to the other party – this is me naming a specific ideologue who’s standing in the political world utterly baffles me.)

Pay attention!  Do your part, eligible voters of American, and VOTE.  Moreover – VOTE INTELLIGENTLY!

Thank you.

Pathwalking 33

Even when walking a chosen path, you need to rest from time to time.

Everyone needs to take a break.  We all need moments to rest the mind, and to relax and simply be.

Pathwalking can still be stressful.  Certainly by design less stressful than an everyday life, but stress still exists.  Pathwalking is about taking action, and action, even action we desire to take, can still have a toll on us.

And so, from time to time, you need to take a break.  Rest from the road.  Pause, on purpose, and rest.

It is not easy to do.  When your mind is almost always in motion, forcing yourself to rest and take a break can seem wrong.  It can seem like you might miss something.

Outside results may appear to others as though you are not putting in the same effort as they are.  You aren’t making the same money, perhaps, or the time you are at work seems to be less.  And that can add a complex of guilt to the need to take a break.  But without a rest, a real rest, you may face a breakdown.

Rest is not simply sleep.  I think everyone knows what its like to sleep, but not become rested from that.  This is the nature of rest where you allow the mind, the body, and the spirit to have a break.  Not just a few minutes here and there, I mean a solid, several-day break.

Our culture has become obsessed with working hard.  All the messages tell us to work harder, put in overtime, nose to the grindstone, faster, more more more.  But there is a key difference between working harder, and working smarter.  But in the world of hourly salaries, smarter doesn’t pay like longer and harder does.  And that is unfortunate.

Studies have been made that have shown that productivity increases when workers get breaks, get vacations, are allowed to take real rests.  From what I have seen, the best corporate jobs are not the punch in, work your ass off, punch out jobs…they are the jobs where you get more value for your work, incentives to work smarter, and a chance to take time to rest from the job.  But this is becoming increasingly lost in rhetoric and greed.

Part of why I have chosen to walk my own path is because I believe there is more to life than this model.  I WANT to work, I want to earn my keep, but not at the expense of my sanity, my health and my wellbeing.  I am an averagely educated person, I have a college degree, I have over 15 years of so-called “professional” experience.  But in the current culture, what I should be capable of commanding from a corporate job versus what I can actually get are quite out-of-whack.

I believe I have more to offer this world than to be a member of the 40+ hour workers, manning a phone and taking abuse because of the corporate overlords I work for, and the decisions they make.  I think I deserve to be content in my job, to have time apart from work for play, and to not dread the majority of my waking hours.  And I know I am not alone in this desire.

All too often, having chosen what I have, I feel that I have to justify to the world my choices.  Why do you need a vacation, you’re not working a ‘normal’ job?  How can you be stressed out, you’re not a corporate drone anymore.  Can you afford to take a break, given the state of your finances?  Don’t you think you should stop this foolish notion, and go back to school/a real job?

I can imagine some may mistake choosing Pathwalking for that small percentage of unmotivated souls who do not work at all, perhaps spending the day playing video games or watching movies or what-have-you.  I believe that most of the people who live this way have chosen to make no choice at all.  Walking your own path involves work.   We all need to take a rest from work.

Another counter argument to this point is that, according to the Law of Inertia, a body at rest tends to stay at rest.  But the human machine needs to be recharged.  We are not able to go go go constantly, without resting.  And that goes beyond sleep, which is for the body; or meditation, which is for the spirit or soul; or reading for the mind.  We need to do things that provide rest for all three, and let us truly recharge our batteries to carry on.

Pathwalking will mean different things for different people…for some, it IS that corporate job I personally loathe…and that’s ok, too.  But no matter who you are, or what you do…if you do not rest, you cannot continue to function indefinitely without some sort of breakdown.

A breakdown takes many forms.  An illness.  Backaches.  Headaches.  Depression.  Insomnia.  A lack of concentration.  Limited patience and focus.  Restlessness…and countless other unpleasant issues.  All of these destroy your ability to DO.  And doing is what Pathwalking, arguably what LIFE is all about.

And so, even a Pathwalker needs to rest from time to time.  Neglecting to rest the mind, body and spirit might cause you to stumble from the path, may add unnecessary difficulties to the journey.  It is important to allow yourself to rest, in order to renew your vigor and energy to take on the path ahead.

What have you done to re-energize yourself lately?

 

 

This is the thirty-third entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 32

How do you get back to the path if you have begun to backtrack, and why is that important?

As mentioned previously, if you have chosen to walk your path, you have chosen to accept control over change.  You are choosing how you will live your life, and as such how you make changes.  Pathwalking is active, and proactive.  Backtracking is reacting, and thus opposite.

The difficulties you have encountered along the path have made you backtrack.  You have leaped from the path to a point back in time.  Maybe you have returned to a prior employment situation, a prior relationship, or a place you left behind.  But you have backtracked, and yet still desire to walk your path.

Reality can be a harsh mistress here.  We all have to live somewhere; as social animals we all need to associate with people in various ways.  Most of us, once we have become adults, have accrued debts and expenses, and as such need jobs to pay these.  While Pathwalking could easily take you away from the norm when it comes to these things, we still have to live in the “Real World”.

Backtracking may be associated with coping with the need to live in this world.  The bills have to be paid, very few people can just disconnect and live as a guru on a mountain top or on a beach in the tropics.  Real world concerns could make you backtrack, and take you from the path you were walking.

The first thing to acknowledge is that you have begun to backtrack.  This can either be a total game changer, or a minor setback.  That, like everything else in Pathwalking, depends on you.

How far have you backtracked?  Does it take you completely off your path, or just divert you?  How far back have you leaped?  Can you leap forward, walk on ahead…or is this a point where you need to choose another path entirely?

Pathwalking goes beyond choosing your own path, and walking it.  It is a far broader concept than that…and I think this is the time to explore that.

See, the idea for ME is that I want to walk my own path.  MY path, as I see it, is to write for a living – whether this, fiction, fantasy, or business writing of some sort – I want to write.  I am a thinker, and I am a writer.

I want to do what I want to do to find my own happiness, and to be the person I want to be, to live the life I want to live.

This is NOT how Pathwalking is going to necessarily work for anyone else.  In part because our paths are ALL separate, and unique.  And in part because the deeper reason to walk the path can vary so wildly.

It comes down to awareness.  While for me it is insufficient to be aware of the path I want to take, but not take it…for some, that may be enough.

I concede that it may be enough to be aware of who you are, and what you want, to be Pathwalking.

The path takes a lot of different forms.  Some are physical, some are intellectual, some are spiritual, some are emotional, and some are a mix of all or part of these.  But the underlying truth of the concept is awareness.  Knowing yourself, knowing your thoughts and emotions.

Society wants us to march to the beat of this drum or that, to “go” this way or that way, and the outside influences are easy to heed.  But we all have our own will, our own awareness, and if we just acknowledge and work with that, I think that could make the world a better place for everyone.

I am not talking about selfishness…I am talking about self-awareness.  Pathwalking is choice, sometimes great, sometimes small, but action versus reaction, or inaction.  Pathwalking is looking at your life, your thoughts and desires, and making choices for yourself.  To even seek out a path, you need to be aware.

How do you get back to the path if you have begun to backtrack, and why is that important?  You make choices.  You analyze where you are, how you have gotten there, and where you want to be, and you choose.  Why is it important?  Because too many people are NOT aware, and do not make choices for themselves…and I think this is why society is riddled with misunderstanding, inequality and intolerance.

I believe that if more people were aware they can choose for themselves, and made more choices on their own, rather than demanding laws and rules and societal expectations to decide for them, this world would be happier, healthier, and better for us all.

Idealistic?  Perhaps.  But if you have been following along on this Pathwalking journey with me up to now, I think you can see this point as well.  Do these posts speak to you?  Do they voice ideas and thoughts you share, even if you don’t always agree with them?  Doesn’t making your own choices make you more content, even happier?  If you can answer yes to any or all of these, then I think you are likely ALSO working on walking your own path.

Doesn’t making your own choices feel good?

 

This is the thirty-second entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Pathwalking 31

What is backtracking, and why is it the opposite of Pathwalking?

I have said before that the path is not always straight, will turn, twist, double back on itself.  Doubling back might imply backtracking, but that is not the case.

This notion of backtracking is making a leap from where you are on the path now to a previous point.  I’m not talking about switching from one path to another, I am talking about taking a pronounced leap backwards, to reset things to a manner they were in at whatever point you think they went wrong.

It is all well and good to analyze where you have been.  If you don’t, how can you possibly know where you are, or where it is you intend to go?  As with all other aspects of Pathwalking, this is absolutely necessary.

But once you have chosen to walk a path, when the results are not coming you may be tempted to “go back” to a certain point.  You might want to return to a previous place along the path, and retrace your steps.

Certainly retracing your steps can be helpful, when searching for lost keys, your wallet, or your cell phone.  But in Pathwalking, it is not conducive to the intent.

Why?  Because you cannot go back.

One of the biggest mistakes we make as a society is that we get nostalgic for the past.  I am not talking about history, this is about emotion.  We often get that wistful, pleasant sense of familiarity in how things used to be, and find we long to get that feeling back.

Familiarity often feels like contentment, and maybe even happiness.  But familiarity can be a dangerous, false mistress.

The way things used to be, and the concept of nostalgia often gets romanticized.  It was a happier, simpler time; people were better; life was safer, etc.  But the truth is, that was not how it was.  The nostalgia is for an ideal, though the ideal was never the reality.  But it can be easier to give in to the contentment of familiarity, even though it is a lie.

This is what I mean by backtracking in the course of Pathwalking.  This can be very scary.  In especial when much of your previous support has gone, and you are feeling alone and frustrated with the results thus far  – or lack thereof.  And fear is a powerful thing.

And then you find you want to go back.  Go back to that point in time when all seemed right with the world.  Sure, it was imperfect, but the money was coming in and I didn’t feel like I was being treated like a crazy person by my family…it wasn’t so bad.  The job sucked, but I was good at it.  Maybe I should go back

Worst case scenario.  Now you may be jumping off the path entirely.  Maybe your leap back doesn’t take you that far, but it takes you to an equally irreconcilable point, and the path gets that much more complex and daunting.

We have to accept a singular truth in all of this.  It is the reason why the feeling often associated with nostalgia is a lie, and why backtracking in general is unhealthy to us as human beings.  That truth is this – change is inevitable.

Everything changes.  Period.  Sometimes that change is imperceptible…but it is happening.  Even if you try to go backwards, change cannot be stopped, it cannot be derailed, it cannot be avoided.  Change is inevitable.

But you can still have control over it.

Pathwalking is about taking control of your path in life.  And a reason why the path twists, turns, shifts and curves is change.  But what you do in change, whether through action or reaction is the issue at hand.

If you have chosen to walk your path, in all reality you have chosen to accept control over change.  You are choosing how you will live your life, and as such how you make changes.  Pathwalking is active, and proactive.  Backtracking is reacting, and thus opposite.  And that is why it is the opposite of Pathwalking.

How do you get back to the path if you have begun to backtrack, and why is that important?  We’ll explore that in the next post.

When all is said and done, Pathwalking is about taking control over change.  Pathwalking is action, where backtracking is reaction, and reacting to what life gives us is the opposite of choosing and following our own path.

These posts began as an attempt to take action on my part.  I chose to write about Pathwalking, and then chose to follow my own words, and walk my own path.  It has been hard, there are good days and bad days…but I have made a choice.  And that feels right to me.

What actions have you taken along your own path thus far?

 

This is the thirty-first entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén