Where you are, where you'd want to be

A physical path has texture and dimension. It has a beginning and an end. The end must be necessarily obscured from view in order for the journey to be worth making, for something that is too easy or too visible is really already accomplished. The traveler on such a path does not experience an inward change at the end of the path. Instead, the path must have some areas of invisibility, some changes in elevation, some mystery to provoke an adaptive response.

Some paths demand more than others. The motivation to take such a trip must be equal to the intensity of the terrain. These are all metaphors, by the way - for a journey can be a completely internal movement from one state to another. Not all journeys end in perceived success, or bring the wayfarer to the place they thought they wanted to arrive. But there are at least two requirements needed to take the first step:

1 - The desire to move from where you are to somewhere else

2 - The knowledge of what you want to move away from, and the image of where you'd like to arrive.

Let's pack something into each of these compartments:

1 - The motivation to change the current internal state at least matches how difficult the journey might be, for there is nothing more important (excepting food, sleep and shelter) than arriving at a place where another who is different than me feels seen for who they are and completely accepted.

2 - To move away from the need to control all outcomes and the concomitant anxiety provoked by the inability to do so, and the arrival at a place of acceptance and relative serenity.

The next step on the internal journey is to notice what lack of capacity exists in comparison to the desired state. A boulder can be climbed over or stepped around, an internal refusal to accept might be a bigger hurdle, but it isn't necessarily permanent. This is where the path gets tricky, for the traveler has access only to the endurance and knowledge currently present within them. It is actually the consideration of the obstacle without knowing how to overcome it that may create the capacity needed.

Some obstacles can't be climbed, dissolved or avoided. When the traveler sits down at the base of the tree that blocks the path thought to lead to the the destination, despondency transforms into meditation. We cannot, by our own effort decide to accept.

(Cut to interior shot of Zen monastery):

Zen initiate to master: Master, I have tried to practice acceptance and failed again and again.

Zen master: Have to tried as hard as you can, have you tried everything?

Zen initiate: Yes master, I have tried everything, I have even tried giving up trying and even failed at that.

Zen master: Give it one more week.

(One week later):

Zen Master: How's your practice of acceptance going?

Zen initiate: I think I am not in a position to know. I have stopped trying, I seem to have stopped thinking about trying to practice acceptance

Zen master: Congratulations. you have learned to accept.

Acceptance grows within from the soil of our desire, in its own time. The journey changes the traveler. Eventually, where you are is where you want to be.

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