Life is a complex and often confusing journey.

There are few clear fixed markers along the way.

The way forward is always uncertain.

Nothing is ultimately predictable.

Change is constant and unavoidable.

The sixth century BCE Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote,

You cannot step into the same river twice, for it is not the same river and you are not the same person.

Everything is always in process.

The sign posts that attempt to point the way are often vague and difficult to interpret. Most of the available road maps are at best mysterious. When applied too rigidly they undermine my ability to travel well and to experience the journey as it arises.

Strategies that worked well at one point may not work further along the way. What works for me where I am on my journey may no help to you where you are on your journey.

The important thing is not so much where we end up as how we journey. If we journey well here at this time and in this place, we will be better prepared for whatever may come next.

But there are skills along the way that can help us journey well:

1. Honour each person’s process as much as you would hope that your process would be honoured.

We each have our own unique journey. I do not know what is best for you. I have never lived your journey. I do not know the forces and circumstances that brought you to this place. But I journey better when I respect your process.

2. Assume each person is doing the best they can and longs to journey in good faith.

Suspicion and distrust always make our journey more difficult. No matter what your motivations may be, we will journey together better if we start with the assumption that everyone is journeying with the best intentions.

3. Be honest with yourself and those with whom you journey.

I need to acknowledge that I do not have all the answers. I may not understand what is in fact going on. This process is frightening and challenging. But we journey better when we face and acknowledge our uncertainties and doubts.

4. Acknowledge that every story is only partly true and always leaves out important information.

No story ever tells the whole story. Closed stories are always a dead-end. When I cling to my story as the only version of reality I miss information that has the capacity to move us in a more healthy direction.

5. Admit that every point of view is a view from a particular point along the way.

All language is inadequate. Every image we may use in an attempt to describe a human situation, is never more than a partial representation of reality. I need your version of events in order to come closer to what is really going on.

6. Listen. Listen. Listen.

There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth. We need to listen twice as much as we speak. Words that emerge from deep listening help us journey with wisdom and compassion.

7. Stay open.

Every journey includes the unexpected. I do not know what is coming next. All I know is that if I keep my heart and mind open here, we will be in a stronger position together when we get there. It is all about the process.

8. Keep moving.

There are no final resting places in this material time-bound horizontal realm. I need to move forward trusting that I will know what I need to know, and have the skills I need to have, when I get to the next bend or bump in the road.

9. Sit lightly to your agenda.

On any journey, there are few absolute non-negotiables. I need to be ready at any point along the way to put down my needs, wants, demands, and desires in order for us to discover together the best way forward.

10. Take responsibility for your part in the journey.

We did not get here alone. We all contribute to each others’ journey. I need to acknowledge my part in bringing us to this point and take responsibility for contributing all I can to move us in a healthy life-giving direction.

Every journey is a journey of love. Love began this journey; love sustains this journey; love is the goal of this journey. Jesus said,

God so loved the world. (John 3:16)

Love is the one absolute non-negotiable of this journey.

Love sustains and guides every heart that stays open and receptive. To the degree that I open to this love, I will journey well with you.

Advertisements