The Journey and the Destination
The other day I realized I have heard the saying “it’s not the destination; it’s the journey” only one way. I heard it as the saying of ditherers: People who didn’t want to get there, but just play at it. For example, they wanted to remain spiritual seekers and never experience Perfect Peace (the absence of all conflict).
But the other day I heard it in a different way: If you focus on the journey you will reach your destination. The inverse of this is if you focus too much on your destination you miss the steps along the way that will get you there. For example, if you constantly measure your peace (“Am I There yet?”) you’ll miss the opportunity to learn the lesson or remove the obstacle to experience Peace that is in front of you.
It’s okay to take a measurement of progress now and then. It can be helpful to see if what you’re doing is effective so you can make changes if necessary. But the best way to do this is to look behind, not ahead. Compare how you feel now to, say, a year ago. Have you grown in your awareness of Truth, the source of Peace? What has helped? What has not? Do you need to make changes or stay the course?
If you compare where you are now to your destination, you will always find yourself falling short. Otherwise, your journey would be over! You reach your destination not by comparing your progress to it, but by taking steps toward it. If you were a medical student, you wouldn’t become a doctor by comparing yourself to a doctor. You would become a doctor by applying yourself to your current classes. It’s no different when your destination is Perfect Peace. What lesson or obstacle is in front of you? What can you do right now that brings Truth and Peace to your awareness?
When I was asked years ago what I did to stay at peace I realized I practiced four habits to keep Truth in my awareness. I eventually wrote about them in my book, 4 Habits for Inner Peace. The nice thing about a spiritual journey is the journey (means) and the Destination (End) are the same. Truth is Peace, so when you invite It into your awareness you invite Peace. This is what A Course in Miracles calls a “Holy Instant”. In a Holy Instant you experience the Destination (Timelessness), each time shortening the journey (time). If Perfect Peace is your destination, your journey is growing your awareness of Truth. Focus on that and you find Peace now and, in time, Perfect Peace.