I met someone just this last summer who I had admired for years.
This person seemed to have everything I had been looking for in regards to my own writing career:
He was a successful screenwriter in Hollywood.
He had an academy award for a screenplay he had written.
He was established, respected, and living the life that accolades like that can purchase: one of status and financial security.
Yet when we were together eating lunch one day, I listened as he went on-and-on about how he hadn’t accomplished enough, hadn’t made enough money, wasn’t asked for in Hollywood like he used to be, and was worried that he would be replaced by the “new” up-and-coming writers.
I was speechless.
I couldn’t imagine anyone being unhappy with the gifts he had received, or not proud of all he had done, but he truly felt that he had failed.
I left our meeting and drove home in silence and thought about my own personal journey.
How many times had I thought, Oh if I just have that… I will be happy?
After my divorce I said that so many times:
If I can just buy a house of my own, I’ll be happy.
If I can just achieve the highest degree in school, I’ll be happy.
If I can just become a successful writer, I’ll be happy.
If I can just find a kind and loving partner, I’ll be happy.
I was fortunate: My Higher Power granted me all of these things and yet I still struggled with my elusive ideal of total happiness.
It is good to set goals.
It is good to work towards something in life.
But to ignore the journey, set on the destination, is to lose all perspective for the present and to miss out on the daily joys of the struggle.
It is like walking on a forest path, ignoring all of the beauty around you, as you center on reaching the end of the trail.
Today, I know that I must find my happiness in the moment, that I must find my happiness in the journey. If I am walking my true spiritual path, there will be joy as I move forward towards my goals.
“Dear God, help me to stay in the moment. Help me to see the joy in all that I do today.”