I went for a run on our road a couple weeks ago and shortly after my turn-around point I stopped and looked back. And then I looked forward. I run this road all the time. Since I have been trying to be more mindful, I began to see how this run resembled a journey.
Starting a journey takes courage. And a leap of faith that no matter what happens along the way or how it all turns out, you'll be okay. Sometimes you do all the prep work and sometimes you forget a detail or two and find a way to improvise (I forgot my bear spray on this particular run so I sang as loud as I could in hopes of keeping the critters cringing well away from me.)
At the turn around point, I looked back to see what I'd accomplished so far. My watch said that I'd made good time, the pace was good. Sometimes you look back for too long, though. Whether it's with regret about what you 'should have' done or whether you have the thought that what's ahead couldn't possibly be better than what's behind you, looking back is really just a momentary check-in. It's a take-stock, take-a-breath break before moving forward again.
Looking ahead can be daunting. Even if you've been on the same road several times and you know what's next, the anticipation can be nerve-jangling. Even if you know the ultimate outcome is going to be good, anticipating the work to get there, the process it will take to ensure a good outcome often means some dig-deep work.
For me, on this road, it's the hill. It's all uphill on the way home. And there's no way around it.
I have found that if all I do is dread it, it's harder. So, I've started to look around me. It's a good thing to do on any journey, really. If you are only focused on the end, the goal, the prize, the top of the hill, you miss the beauty of what's around you on the journey. It's the discoveries about yourself, about others, and about the process that become the golden threads in the tapestry of your journey, of your life. Treasures not to be missed.
I spent too many runs up this hill missing butterflies landing on wildflowers like the ones pictured here. We are all on a journey some kind. Are you spending too much time looking backward? Are you dreading what's ahead? Are you missing out on what's around you?
Feel free to comment, or get in touch about your journey.