We are all on a path we call Life, living in this existence, experiencing this world we call Reality. Everyone’s path is unique to the life they choose and the choices they make. We travel down the path, sometimes with briars in our way, leaving chunks of tender flesh behind. Sometimes the way is beautiful and clear. Sometimes the climb is all uphill and rocky. Sometimes we don’t see what’s around or in front us, and we stumble over our own feet. Sometimes we veer onto another path without ever realizing we’ve turned. Sometimes a change of direction is intentional. Sometimes we come up against a wall, an obstacle that seems to extend to infinity in either direction, and we wonder how we got there. Our choices are fairly simple, though accomplishing the task rarely is: up-and-over, down-and-under, or break-through. As much as going back may seem preferable, we can’t ever really go back; invariably we end up in the same place facing that wall again.
We often find our path runs along with another’s for a while, sometimes merging, sometimes only parallel, until the paths diverge and we each go on to something/someone else in our lives. Sometimes multiple paths intermingle again and again in a lifetime, sometimes not. We attempt to learn whatever message or aid that life had to impart to ours. Sometimes they’re helpful to us, sometimes we need to help them, and sometimes we help each other.
Anne Bishop, fantasy fiction author, once described the difference between human and animal communication as though we are on parallel pathways with only a hedgerow between separating our understanding of each other. I think we live our lives much this way, sometimes hopping the hedgerow to understand and assist friends and loved ones for a time, sometimes they hop the hedgerow to assist us for a while. Though our paths may be very different, we are bound to one another, so the distance in understanding is only as great or as fine as we choose to make it. The greater the bond, the finer the line between us, but we still choose how we respond to need. If we feel we’ve been slighted in some way, we may decide it’s not worth the effort to be compassionate when we feel that it isn’t or won’t be returned – an example of a danger in this lies in the possibility of never extending beyond our own worldview out of desire to protect ourselves from disappointment; we end up alone, lonely, and missing out on so very much beyond ourselves. Or, we may choose to extend ourselves and jump a difficulty set by the another who fears intimacy – an example of a danger in this lies in the possibility that we may always seek to aid others to the point we lose sight of our own path and sicken for lack of connection to Self.
We all encounter difficulties, we all have loved ones who encounter their own difficulties that may or may not be similar to what we experienced. We all make our own choices, bad and good. We all seek a solution to the bad; we all find pleasure in the good. Our own drama is the best and worst there is because we have only our own experiences-worldview-filter to see through. We share our experiences in order to help others or get help from others. We seek commiseration, understanding, advice, recognition or validation. This is how we relate to each other. We need only remember no one’s path is the same as anyone else’s, despite similarities, and everyone’s path is most important to their own life, despite sometimes placing others’ needs ahead of their own.
We all have our own path to travel.