We are all familiar with the phrase “it’s the journey, not the destination,” but as I sat on my flight to New York a couple weeks ago I had a hard time enjoying the long flight when there was so much to look forward to when I landed. As I sat there, I started to think about all the people on the plane. We were all headed to the same airport, but that is where our destination similarities ended. Everyone on the flight was traveling for a different reason. They could have been just starting out or heading home. They could have been traveling for business or vacation, to visit family or to be alone. We all had our own plans, our own unique way of arriving at our final destination, wherever and however that may be.
At no point in time did anyone on the flight turn to the person across the aisle and say “I know you have your own plans, but I really think you should come with me because I think my plans are better than yours.” That would be ridiculous, right? But how often to do we do that to our children (or our spouse/family/friends), coaxing them along in the direction that we think is right and not giving much credence to their own journey? We think we are being helpful. We think that since we have been down this road before, it is our duty to share our wisdom so that the same mistakes aren’t made. But what if they need to see it for themselves so they can experience it, learn from it and then grow in their own unique way? As we watch from the sidelines, we must resist the urge to do our best Siri impression and shout “return to the route”.
Mentally we know it is the journey that counts, but it is often difficult to remember that thought when we are in the middle of our road or watching someone stumble their own road. We look for ways to make the journey easier. We look to alleviate the pain or challenges we might face along the way. As much as we tell ourselves it’s about the journey, it’s hard not to be in a hurry to get to the destination.
A couple weeks ago, Dr. Shefali opened the Evolve conference by talking about the process a caterpillar must go through to become a butterfly. We’ve all heard the story before and have been so focused on the emergence of the butterfly that we overlook what it takes to get there. Maya Angelou said “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Like a cocoon is to a butterfly, so is the journey to the destination. We can surround ourselves with all the outside support and love that we need, but in the end the journey/cocoon is a personal experience.
The holidays are coming – are you ready for the craziness that comes along with it? Let’s set up time to talk! Direct message or email me at balancedheartcoaching.com and we’ll set up time this week to get you ready for whatever might come your way.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.