I know what I want to do. I can see the Path I want to choose to walk. That does not mean it is always easy, or clear. Some days, I do not know if I am only seeing my path, or traveling upon it.
Morpheus says in The Matrix, “Sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” Yoda says in The Empire Strikes Back, “Do, or do not…there is no try.” Both of these statements say the same thing – make a choice and follow through.
I have made some difficult choices in how I am going to walk my path and live the life I want. Some, I am sure, see my choices as good and valid. But then there are some who see my choices as foolish. To others, they might even appear selfish.
Some days are simply harder than others. There are days when I am deeply grateful for the things I have and the people in my life. And then there are days where I am frustrated, sometimes with the things, sometimes the people, sometimes other issues minor and major.
Some days reading the news is a very bad idea. So many awful things happening, some local, some global, and it is very hard not to let all that negative energy affect you. Threats of war and terrorism, rapes and violence against woman and minorities, power-mad fools destroying the ecosystem to make and horde ever-greater wealth. Some days it simply seems pointless to bother walking my own path…what difference in our messed-up world can this possibly make?
The truth of that question, however, is this – it makes a huge difference. If I am walking my own path, and showing how content and happy that makes me, it could encourage others to try the same thing. And if other people try to walk their own path and make their own happiness, they can in turn encourage others along the way.
The concept of “pay it forward” is a part of this. Someone does a good deed for me, I am encouraged to do a good deed for another, which proceeds to cause that person to do a good deed for someone else…etcetera etcetera. But this is not about making choices like this once in a while, this is about making choices constantly.
One question I frequently consider – do more people let life live them and let others make their choices FOR them, than live their own lives and make their own choices? Or is it that they don’t let others choose for them so much as they do not take responsibility for the choices that they themselves make?
I have said for a long time that accountability in this world would go a long ways towards making it a better place. But we are encouraged to not be accountable. We are encouraged to shift the blame, to see fault in the processes or the systems, or what-have-you, rather than be responsible and accountable for our own part. We look to fix the problems of others before exposing, accounting for, and taking responsibility for our own.
I do not know if this is a problem in society, or just human nature. I suspect this is societal, but that is not the point of my thought patterns here. I am owning up to the choices that I have made, I am being accountable for them, and saying that, yes, I chose to do that, or be this, or make my life as such. I am choosing my life experience, and will have it the way I want it.
This is an imperfect process in part because I am flawed. Nothing wrong with that, it is a part of what makes me, me. I am going to do and fail from time to time, and I accept that. I will do something else when what I am doing now fails, and continue. I am taking action, I am choosing how I want this to be.
Yes, some days I choose wisely, some days less so. And there are even times when I do not, in fact, choose at all. There are days I do simply go along with the flow, and let the chips fall where they may. But I have chosen to let it be that way. And it is the fact that a choice was made that keeps me walking my path.
Pathwalking is a constant process, but it is a process none-the-less. Elements of it get easier with time, but it still requires thought and concentration, active work, and active action. But I continue to believe that in choosing to walk my own path, I am more content, I am happier, I am better able to account for my life, my actions, and my direction.
And I continue to share my process because I believe that you can also benefit from walking your own path. I believe if more of us make choices, walk our own paths, and work to make our small pieces of the world more how we would want them to be, perhaps we can encourage others to do the same. And maybe, just maybe, the philosophy of Pathwalking could make the world a better place.
How do you deal with the harder days of walking your own path?
This is the eighty-eighth 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.