Living without a Map

16 04 2008

map

When was the last time you planned anything in your life?

Aside from where to go on the weekend or on vacation, when did you take note of where is your life headed?

By experience I can tell you that when we are in our teens about to finish high school is one of the moments when we start thinking about what are we going to do with our life. After that we enter college or the work force and continue from there. Then some of us decide to get married and start our family and before we know our whole life rolls at the speed of light without even knowing it. For many years we concentrate on raising and nurturing our family many times forgetting about ourselves. Then all the sudden our life’s momentum changes. Sometimes different circumstances changes the rythm of our life; kids leave for college, sickness, divorce, death, loss of work or financial crisis. Any or all of this can force us to stop and look at our life and where we are headed. We find ourselves at a crossroad and we need to decide which way to go. We need a map, but a map where?

Life is not static and as we walk along the path it is important to know that there will be different stages and needs we need to meet along the way. In my book, Simplicity,Richness of Life I speak on this very theme from a spiritual point of view, but here I decided to explore it from a practical one. In an ideal situation we know where and how to get to our destination but in reality many times we don’t. The reason why we don’t know is because we haven’t given it much thought.

Let’s contemplate our life for a moment. Are we where we expected to be 5, 10, 15 years ago? Are we on the path we should be in order to achieve our goals and dreams? Do we have any goals or dreams? Should we stop and begin to trace a complete new route or map?

One of the beautiful things in life is that we can start over again, we can learn from our mistakes, and we can create new dreams. As long as we are willing to grow and change in order to adapt ourselves to our present circumstances we have a good chance to take advantage of what is offered to us. Inflexibility only will “break us” at the end.

Are you living without a map or are you exploring a new route? Do you feel you are moving along the right path?

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Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life


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6 responses

16 04 2008
dekarvn

IMO, life is not a routine you have to go through. And yes, you do have goals, but you don’t have map to guide you to that given goal…
You’ll encounter things, unexpected things along the way which will obviously lead you to another path or take you longer to reach the goal…But still, planning too far ahead, in my opinion, is not a good choice….
Goals and Dreams only exist in a slow motion, they will disappear once you have done it or are tired of it…

16 04 2008
clary

Thanks for your comment dekarvn, by map I referring to the knowledge we all need to know what we want, more or less what does it looks like, and a possible route. Of course we don’t know an exact way to get there but we need to know our destination and the reasons for us to want to go there, if we don’t we go aimlessly through life without accomplishing a thing.
Goals and dreams are what put us into motion and they are constantly being replaced by others as we accomplish more in our life, true.

16 04 2008
mandythompson

i’m only 29, but i’m learning that nothing in life stays the same. and very little actually works out as we hope/plan.
all we can do is prepare for change, prepare for surprises, prepare for the unknown.
and ride it out as best we can.

17 04 2008
clary

Hi Mandy,
I know exactly what you mean, it happens to everyone, but not because of that I will stop making plans even if I need to adjust them or replace them. To be mentally and emotionally prepared for change, suprises and the unknown is a good method not to get discouraged by setbacks. Thanks for your comment.

17 04 2008
arthenn

Living without a Map

Clary I love the title. I’ve been doing this all my life living without a map. I’ve always known where I wanted to go and what to do with it but there always seemed to be the crossroad of a hole that I have fallen into.

Wanting to play Pro Football
Wanting to Box Professionally
Wanting to be a High Fashion Photographer
Wanting to be a Fireman

After working hard and training hard I got a taste of all four

High School Football and Boxing, never pro status but that’s OK I got a good taste of it as a young man and it caused me to want to move forward into that field.

Being a Fireman and working for the California Division of Forestry as a firefighter was the hardest work of all and I enjoyed it immensely.

Football, I was too small.
Boxing, I was injured and to this day I still have seizures. Kept me out of the ring, lets just say it tossed me out of the rig of being a fireman, something I hand made my mind up that I was going to do until retirement.

The photography just unfolded itself into the lap of my soul, A gift the one thing at this time in my life that pulled me out of that hole I was in the middle of this crossroad. It was working as a hobby, taking photos of beautiful woman at photo shoots and was inspired to become a high fashion photographer.

During this time I had been working as a Baker and this was the bread and butter, the income to keep a roof over our heads, my wife and mine. Married for four years, work was steady and the photography was doing well, we decide we want to start a family. No baby for the first four years of trying but all this time things are working out and I’m doing the shoots on weekends after work and I’m on my way.

Well we were given the gift of a bundle of joy, our first son. Yes another crossroad I was not excepting, there went the weekend shoots as it was too much having a little one around. But you know what that was OK. He was worth it and it was a crossroad that took me into another direction in life.

That was still working as a Baker and wanting to write about my firefighting days, Journals hoping to one day turn them into a book. Not good at the mechanics of writing I would get frustrated and give up and go out a use my photography as a hobby photographing sunsets, flowers and such, things of nature.

As I dealt with this and our son got older the longing give up my baking job and go full time with the photo shoots. Became a possibility but being a non believer at the time my mind was pulling in the direction of Fashion Photography and my heart was saying stay still and continue working as a Baker. It was a tug-a-war. Another crossroads with even a deeper hole, I had fallen into.

Life was bad and I wanted to give up and end it by taking my own life.

Clary, I was in the middle of life’s map, nowhere to go, wondering which way to go.

The night I was going to end it all was the night I listened to my heart for the first time, a sunset of all things changed my outlook. I was pulled out of the deepest of all crossroads.

I’m sorry this has to be the longest comment I ever left.

As you know I like to write poetry and this today is what keeps me a float, looking back on these roads I have travel through what I mapped out as a route. Was not the route I was to go?

Today with the work of an “Angel with Wings” thank you Clary I have gotten a new start and our creator is real and yes we have to listen to our hearts and take the gifts that are bestowed upon us, and use them to benefit his will not ours.

To bring this to an end, the things I have learned from traveling these crossroads in my life is you have to first begin by liking yourself, liking what you feel inside. Not what we see as a map of desire in our minds, but a map of desire by what we feel in our hearts.

Does this make any sense?

17 04 2008
clary

Art,
I guess you refer to emotions versus our intellect, is that right? What lies within our heart and not our mind. Thanks for sharing with us your take on this topic.

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