hiking-path-599Stumped. That’s what I was today as I began to write this blog. At this very moment I don’t have the energy or desire to be profound or inspiring or challenge your thought. I just want to be — be quiet, be happy, be tired, be lonely, be angry, be whatever the moment holds. My personal life is a flurry of activity, chaos and pending transition that has my head spinning. My professional life follows the routine that I have created over the past four years at WUUC. Somewhere in the middle of (or maybe beneath) these two very different lives is the journey that I must take to find myself among all the comings and goings of my structured existence.

Not so easy, though, to make the time to explore this less-worn pathway–at least not for me. On Sunday I don’t get to worship because I’m working. During the week I hurry home from work to deal with family issues.  Where am I in all this coming and going of my life and how do I feed my soul? Sound familiar to anyone?

I do work on my meditation practice and revel in time outside in nature, but often the other bits of my life creep in and distract me. It seems I’m always busy doing something for others and I’ve never been good at making time for myself.  I’m talking about real time – quiet, silent, contemplative time – the time and space I need to unpack all the extra items that I’ve been carrying around on my life’s journey. You know, the items that are so heavy you think you might break from their weight. The items we bury deep in our hearts, like the garbage at the bottom of our backpack that we carry out of the woods when we hike. It stinks when you open it up and see what is there, but it only stinks more the longer it stays buried before we discard it. Or maybe I’ll discover that this path leads me in a totally different direction from what I have become comfortable with? And would that be so bad?

All I know is that right now, today, I need to travel down that less-worn path–to put one foot ahead of the other and allow myself to get a little lost along the way. I know in my heart that I cannot truly escape this particular journey, I can only avoid being present along the way. I have hurts and anger and doubt that are still close to the surface, ones not dealt with and ones that aren’t easily discarded. Maybe I can find a way to compost them into something beautiful and new and fresh if I slowly unpack them, if I am present to the pain and joy that the journey brings.  Maybe that is what a spiritual journey is all about, the process of letting go–unpacking–to find the beauty and wholeness of ourselves. Just a thought.