Pathwalking may be a singular choice…but that does not mean we have to go it alone.
I have talked about people not understanding your path. People not understanding the choices you make. People trying to influence you as obstructions, not to help you. But what I have not mentioned previously are the people along your path supporting you.
Human beings are not meant to be alone. We are, science tells us, social creatures. We need friends, family, loved ones, even random people around us. We all have basic needs like food, water and air…and emotional needs that are far less tangible.
While many of the answers to life’s great questions and mysteries must begin from within, we still want to share those, and we still need to connect to others in order to do that. As social creatures, we need and want to share what we learn, who we are, and how we grow.
For over a year I have been sharing my Pathwalking experience. I frequently mention that I am mostly doing this for myself, but sharing it with you is part of the social element. I don’t need to share this…I want to. And if nobody reads these, that does not change or invalidate the action.
In addition to the validation we seek for who we are and what we do, we also need to share what we are learning; and as such perhaps to receive guidance.
We all have teachers. First it’s your parents. Then other relatives. Then the educators you encounter while being schooled. It is after formal schooling that this takes on a different tone.
For some, the informal education comes from “the streets”. It comes from life lessons. It is not sought, and for some not desired. Some people do not like to learn. They do not care about improving who and what they are, they just let life live them. They are taught by television news anchors, pundits, clergy, coworkers, friends…or no one at all. They are set in their way, and life simply happens.
For some, informal education is sought out. We want to grow, to learn, to expand our minds and our perspectives and change things. We read philosophies, we explore self-help and spiritual ideas and study to further our knowledge base. This can take all kinds of forms, all sorts of directions, but it is part of the conscious effort to control our own destinies.
But guides are not always just unreachable celebrities and people like Paulo Coelho or the Dalai Lama or a dead philosopher like Socrates. Some guides are far closer, far more personal…and really, in many respects, far more important.
While we may have people in our lives in opposition to the choices we make in Pathwalking, no doubt we have people in our lives in support. They may simply be with us providing encouragement…they may serve an even greater place as a guide. As important as it is to be Pathwalking to make your own choices, it is important to have these people along.
We all need sounding boards. We all need someone to say ‘good job’ and ‘well done!’ and such. Conversely, we need someone to gently nudge us, ‘you forgot this’ or ‘maybe you should consider this’ and similar. Not just validation, but support and assistance.
It is good to have someone there when you need to ask questions aloud, whether or not you need them to give answers. Having a person to voice concerns to, someone to ruminate with, someone to share new ideas with…this makes the path easier to tread, and adds to the overall worthwhile of the process.
These people are not the outside influences I talk about in Pathwalking 56, they do not seek to control you. They are guides, sounding boards, assistants. They are friends, family, lovers, mentors, students. These are the person or persons who, while they may well be on their own path in life, walk along side you on yours as well, not obstructing or hindering your path.
And it is just as important that I be there for those on their own path. Not because Pathwalking makes me any better than anyone else – but because there is experience I have and things I can share that might help someone else along the way. This is why I share my own Path, to help you as you travel along your own, whether I show you not to take the way I have, or show you possibilities you have not considered on your own.
And it is a two way street. Commentaries and conversations about this process have led to many of the topics covered in this series. You are my companions on this path, as much as I hope I am a welcome companion on yours
Pathwalking is a lone course, but not a course that must be travelled alone. I hope that all of us consciously making this choice help others to see it for the unlimited possibility it represents.
Who are your companions as you walk your path?
This is the fifty-seventh 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.