Soul and I went hiking this past weekend.
We did a decent hike to our intended destination, about 3.5 miles from the trailhead (the beginning of the trail).
When we got there, we had the option of turning back down or hiking to another peak, with the closest one being a little less than a mile.
Soul is more inclined to stack on the mileage (although I’m no couch potato myself), so they threw the ball in my court.
Did I want to bag a peak before going back home?
I hemmed and hawed about it and then decided, sure, why not?
I’ve never done it before and we’re already up here anyway, right?
So we headed upward to the closest peak, .9 miles away.
It was mostly incline and I wasn’t completely exhausted but I wasn’t feeling like a spring chicken, either.
I marched along the trail.
Until we hit a signpost that said we were .25 miles away from the peak.
I don’t know what it was in me, but I was not having it.
I exclaimed to Soul, No way, I feel like we should be there by now.
I didn’t bother hiding my annoyance.
Soul responded that they were open to heading back down if I wanted to – even though we were so close to the top.
I teetered on the fence.
I was not feeling the hike, but we were so damn close.
That’s one lap around a standard-sized track.
That’s halfway from one street to another street in my hometown.
That’s really not that much, considering how far we’d come.
But it took me all of 45 seconds to say, ‘I want to turn around.
F the peak.’
There was a huge part of me that said, ‘But you’ll feel great. You’ll feel accomplished. You won’t regret it.’
It’s just a little more.
It’s just a little pain.
How could I come all this way only to turn around?
Was I a loser?
All of the above.
I’ll take it.
Slap ’em on me.
Because I was more willing to take that than my inner fury of doing something I did not want to do,
doing something because of an ideal, an image of the admirable, respectable version of me.
The version of me that does the right thing, the noble thing, the great thing.
I had learned, time after time, the misalignment and torture (yes, I am so dramatic) of doing things and being things because I was taught *that* was the best way to do and be.
That there is a standard outside of me worth following.
If I had wanted to continue to push through and get to the peak and take in the view and experience the accomplishment, then hell fucking yes, I’d do the damn .25 miles.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t care about the push,
didn’t care about accomplishing something,
didn’t care about discipline,
didn’t care about doing anything other than what I was prepared to and wanting to do at that moment.
And I knew enough, at this point in my life, that if I didn’t listen, I was going to grumble all the up AND all the way down.
I’d done that enough times.
There really is nothing worse, to me.
Nothing worse than not saying the thing that I know, in my heart of hearts, I’m meant to say.
Or saying the thing that I don’t really mean, even in the slighest.
Or pushing on through to something I actually deeply don’t give a shit about.
Or not putting in the energy and attention to something I do give a shit about.
The misalignment kills me.
And so much of it due to my fear of not matching up to what someone taught me, what society taught me, what culture taught me, about what it means to live a full beautiful “successful” life.
There is no roadmap outside of me, nor outside of you.
There is no one principle to live by.
There is no manual.
You are the living breathing bible of your life.
The principles you will live by and thrive by are the ones you uncover in your experiences,
process out of your own volition,
The standards for your life spring forth from the depths of who you are,
and who you choose to be at any given moment.
You are IT.
You are the success, the dream, the accomplishment.
You living in accordance with YOU *IS* doing the damn thing.
There is no greater way.
Some people feel they must align with a greater purpose, aka a purpose greater than them.
I think some people do need to live like that.
It’s good for them.
And there are others who believe they ARE the purpose.
They ARE the vision, they ARE the dream.
Allegiance belongs to who they are, not necessarily a path or service in the world.
If they follow their truth one moment at a time, it will lead them to the life they are meant to live,
the life they see within themselves.
It’s a matter of trusting it, backing it, and choosing it now and the next now and the next now…
When you do, you choose the thing that is visible only to you, the secrets of the universe sowed within you.
The nuances can feel tricky, but you came here to be you.
Wouldn’t it make sense then, that you create your life by honoring and choosing everything about you?