These past few months have been a crazy whirlwind of activity, challenge, and personal growth. So much has been happening at such a rapid pace. I can scarcely believe that in a few days 2012 will end and we’ll enter into a new year. Where did the time go? In many ways, I’ve grown accustomed to living within a state of transition where everything is in a constant flux. So, sometimes I don’t realize how quickly things are changing all around me. Other times, it can be difficult and exhausting and I find myself yearning for days that have long passed – wishing that things could go back to some form of “the way it used to be.” I know that is impossible. And even if it were possible, I know that turning back would ultimately prove unsatisfying. It is often difficult to see what is right in front of you when you are in the thick of a tough situation; but things seems better when it’s all over and you’re looking back at it. There is some clarity that comes with hindsight. Problems, difficulties tend to appear smaller than what they were. This helps us to let go and move on, as we remember the good and forget the bad.
No matter what happens, I choose to keep moving forward. I must. Turning back is not an option for me. Neither is standing still. I want to keep growing and learning. In order to do that, I must keep moving and progressing. I refuse to stagnate – and that’s what happens when you quit moving and stay still for too long. There is a divine purpose in discomfort. It is there to get us off of our butts, to prod us out of our comfort zones. There is nothing inherently wrong with comfort, but there is such a thing as being too comfortable where you move into an area of complacency and end up staying right where you are with no more growth or progress. Ultimately, it’s a place of death; but it is such a slow, painless death, like the deep sleep of princesses in fairy tales, that you often don’t even realize that you’ve been laying in a casket until somebody comes along and wakes you up.
We can’t keep looking back at the things that once were. It is impossible to move forward with our heads turned and eyes focused on what’s behind. The past no longer exists – it is over and gone. Only memories remain. If we listen to them, the difficult ones will teach us lessons and the happy ones will bring warmth and encouragement in times of need. Ultimately, their whole purpose is our growth – our progress. So go ahead and remember; but don’t set up camp there. Receive what the memory has to offer, and keep on moving. Technically, the future doesn’t exist either – not yet. It is only a concept in our minds of what will be. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will. The future will certainly come. It cannot be escaped or delayed. When it finally appears, it is the present – but the present is fleeting. It only lasts a moment before it becomes a part of the past. Crazy, isn’t it?
The only way to see goals met and dreams come true is to keep moving towards them. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes great effort and perseverance. So, even if it doesn’t seem like you’re really getting anywhere, if you keep taking steps in that direction, progress is being made. It may be difficult and exhausting as you encounter trials and challenges along the way, but don’t give up. Don’t allow discouragement to come in and rob you of reaching your destination. Dory from Disney’s “Finding Nemo” has the right idea when she gives Marlin the following advice: “When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”
I’m choosing to enjoy the journey and savor each moment along the way as I live in the here and now, always moving and looking forward to the future with hope and expectation. You’re invited to join me. Who’s with me? May each one of you have a Happy New Year filled with fresh adventure, new discovery, keen insight, great joy, deep peace, and expanding love! God bless your journey in 2013.