I live in California, born & raised in San Diego.  I absolutely love it in spite of its many flaws (gas prices, history with sports teams, and that it has made me a wimp to inclement weather).  But while So Cal is my home, some of my heart (meaning my dearest friends and some of my family) are not in San Diego.  So because I value those people and our relationship I tend to travel a lot to see them.

On one trip back from Colorado visiting my best friend I noticed several of the moving sidewalks throughout the airport, particularly the one right in front of my terminal gate.

moving_sidewalks

I love people watching so just adding a moving sidewalk to the equation makes it that much more enjoyable.  I saw a mom and a daughter dancing like they were ballerinas (precious) and a little kid running ahead of his mom only to run back, against the flow of the sidewalk to get to her (awesome).  I would probably do one or both of these if there were not several people around because of my being a goober at heart.

But in this particular instance, my favorite was the people (and there were several of them) who powered through like an Olympic speed walker instead of letting the track just take them.

First off, I feel like the case can be made that it’s put there to give you a break so you can just “go with the flow,” from your busy travel schedule.  And I wanted to ask them if they thought those few seconds of speed walking was going to make a difference as they arrive to their connecting terminal—because really, I don’t think that’s a thing.

Second, I always wonder how you weigh out your speed walking for the few brief moments when it comes up against the fact that you have to resume your normal walking speed when the sidewalk ends.  It just doesn’t seem worth it.

I opt out of the moving sidewalks altogether.  I choose rather to stay on the steady pace that my already fast walking and long legs affords me.  But I bring this up because I think the tension that my moving sidewalk friend’s battle with is actually a real thing outside of the airport.   As I think about certain areas of my life, I wrestle with what progress on the road to my destination is defined as: either these small fast spurts or the consistent slow and steady.

As I was sitting in therapy one day, crying my eyes out, and getting so frustrated because as I work through things in my past and even stuff in my everyday life, I just wanted to be at my destination already.

Maybe you have felt this way before?  Like you’re in this middle ground or holding pattern of what the future will look like in its entirety and feeling like the path is so long to get there.  Or maybe it’s just me, which is totally fine.  My therapist (bless her) is so wonderful.  But she asked me what are the markers of where I inevitably want my life to be that I wouldn’t already assume I’m there.

I was so speechless that there may have been actual crickets that chimed in to fill in the silence.  No one has ever asked me that before. What does the goal look like?

Of course, the very first thing in my mind was what would public opinion say (classic people pleaser—I’m obviously not 100% cured and still working off residual effects).  Yes, the wisdom of others, especially those who’ve gone through similar circumstances can be good markers, but they are not the “be all, end all.”  We need to know and understand that our journey is not like anyone else’s and therefore answers may not always be easy cookie cutter ones.

The second thing was that I didn’t know if there was a definitive finality to dealing with each issue as it comes.  Let me just tell you; unlike other courses in life, you don’t get certificates of completion in the mail when you wrestle through emotional and spiritual healing—it’s kind of a bummer.  It would be a lot easier to show yourself and others that you’ve made it through such and such phases and ready to tackle the next issue.

The concerns that we deal with on roads to healing could get triggered even after you’ve resolved it based on how our brain processes situations.  That doesn’t mean that you aren’t healed or there hasn’t been forgiveness, it just signals that you’re human and complex.  Captain obvious, I know!  Something that was super encouraging to me the other night in class (a topic nowhere close to this one, but I love how it fit) is that a marker on the path to healing is simply this: healing things grow, and growing things change.

Healing things grow…and growing things change!

Our awareness that we are not the people we were yesterday through growth and change (whether fast or slow) are good signs that healing is taking place.  Will we be 100% healed?  Sorry to say, I don’t know, but safe to assume, probably not.  There is always the chance that you could remember a dark time on a sad day and lose traction on the journey…that doesn’t mean you’re back to square one…it just means you had a bad day…and that’s ok.  Everyone has them.

Our capacity and speed at which we grow is irrelevant as long as we’re in process.  Just like whether or not I hop on a moving sidewalk doesn’t really matter if I’m moving towards the connecting terminal.  It’s when we stay stagnant or are resigned to the fact that the destination is too far away to continue traveling that should send off the red alerts.

May we each be encouraged today on whatever part of the journey we are in and, speed aside, we are headed for something more – the fuller picture of who we are supposed to be.

Until next time…Live as a Masterpiece!

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