Originally posted 11/8/16
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 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 once we landed.
What if the person across the aisle turned and said to you “I know you have your own plans, but you should come with me. Trust me, I’ve done this before, and my plans are better than yours.” That would be ridiculous, right? But how often to do we try to persuade our child (or our spouse/family/friends) to take the action we think is right? 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?
Mentally we know it’s the journey that counts, but it’s difficult to remember when we are watching someone we love stumble. We look for ways to make their 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 offer shortcuts we think will help them to get to the destination faster.
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, 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 is a unique, personal experience of transformation and growth.
p.s. Tickets for Dr. Shefali’s 2019 Evolve Conference are still available! It is one of my favorite weekends of the year, and I’d love to share my experience if you’d like to know more. I hope I’ll join me! Visit https://www.evolvewithdrshefali.com/ for ticket information.
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash
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.