“Hope is like a road in the country: there was never a road,
but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
We all walk along many paths and roads towards a variety of destinations. I often feel as if there are times when I am walking simultaneously on parallel paths…generally headed towards the same end, but having to be reached by a slightly different route.
Some paths I have to walk alone. No one can walk them for me. Other paths, as Lin Yutang writes, don’t really even become a path until more people join in the walk.
On these walks, the ones that have deep meaning and purpose for us, we have a mind-set that does not allow us to give up or turn back. Our thoughts, our mind-set keeps a light focused ahead. It is important to consider the way we interpret experiences in life. Those responses and reactions may become habitual and become part of the mind-set. If we are always responding to life with thoughts and emotions that are negative, condemning, unyielding, we will experience much frustration and suffering. If we respond in ways that are mindful, compassionate, patient, flexible, we have the possibility of experiencing greater joy, fulfillment and contentment.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth,
so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.
To make a deep mental path,
we must think over and over the kind of thoughts
we wish to dominate our lives.”
Henry David Thoreau
Perhaps though, the greatest awareness we can have as we walk on a new, lightly trodden path or a well worn one, is whether we can walk on it with love and reverence, with compassion and patience.
“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked,
in which you can walk with love and reverence.”
Henry David Thoreau
Our mental and emotional paths and our physical life path have to run together. It is probably a good idea to pause now and then to check our maps…..our thoughts, our hopes, our purpose and goals. It is important to listen to our thoughts and internal dialogue to hear what they are saying, to understand where they are leading us. If we hear words and thoughts of anger, fear, hate, distrust, isolation, resentment, division, hurt and anger, should we stop and listen and hear in order to understand the meanings and ramifications of those words? We have to pause and think of what kind of guidance those words are offering us, what course they are laying out for us. To look and see where they are sending us as we walk our paths in life.
I hear those words sometimes too. Louder yet, I hear words like hope, peace, yes, compassion, solutions, encompass, embrace, patience, responsibility, social conscious, respect…..
I am working on following the path of Hope. Perhaps it is not well trodden, nor clearly marked, but as more people join in the walk, the path, the way, will become more clear.