To walk this path is to have no hope. To experience little happiness or joy. To feel as though I am in a cloud. It is hard to think, hard to concentrate. I am tired all the time. My body, a perfect reflection of my inner state, gets sick. It hurts and becomes sore. Most of the damage my physical body receives is from this state I am in when walking on this path. To walk it is to loose all faith and trust. Or, in the complete loss of faith and trust, I find myself, once again, upon it.
But I can leave this road at any time. I can stop and create a crossroads. I can step off it into the greenery on either side and, step by step, moment by moment, create what Christians might call the straight and narrow path. Just a footpath, not easy to walk. But when I am on this path I can experience happiness and joy. I can experience peace of mind and clarity of thought. I don’t feel as if I am burdened or in some sort of clinging heavy fog. I am not weighed down. My body is healthier, I have less pain. I find myself, once again, actually wanting to do things I could not bring myself to do while on the other path. With each swing of my blade, I make my way to an uncertain and unknown future.
This path is one I have started and returned to many times in the last few years. Things happen, I end up back on the broad way, but the sheer weight of walking it drives me to return to the footpath, this trail through the wilderness of my life. As I said, I have stopped, and I am preparing to return to the footpath once again. Because I can, at any time, go to the road and continue until the end. But I can not really be at peace or enjoy my life while doing so. To just be a little happy, to experience the tiniest amount of joy, I have to step off, back onto the footpath, and continue.
The work is hard, but the possible reward is great. There could be a mansion ahead of me. This place that represents the fulfilling of all desires and needs. My own house, a fulfilling, meaningful and worthwhile life. A family. But nothing is certain. I can not see more than one swing ahead of me at a time. Because this path has to be walked in faith and trust. The broad way requires no faith, no trust, and is certain as a result. Just as the narrow way requires faith and trust because it is not certain. The broad way skirts around the mansion, missing it entirely. The straight and narrow way travels, as straight as an arrow, right to its front door, if it exists, and there is no way of knowing until you reach it.
To walk the footpath incurs a heavy cost. All attachments must be released. Maybe even all expectation, but I am not sure. I just know that I can not walk this path if I am attached, if I must have a mansion when I reach its end. The problem is, when I experience little if anything the mansion represents in this moment, as I proceed step by step and swing by swing through the dense undergrowth, how can I find the strength to keep going? Because my life, in this moment, with these steps, is not the life I desire to have or want to live, and I am tried of all this swinging and walking!
On an intellectual level, I know that my happiness can not depend on my circumstances and situations. But unhappiness is easy to find here. It requires so little for me to be unhappy. I can just look around and see all the things that I lack, all these things that I need and want which have not manifested into my life. But to be happy requires a complete ignoring of my present moment reality, a total focus on the mansion for which I must demonstrate faith and trust that it exists in order to experience happiness.
I honestly do not know how to proceed. I am not sure I can release my attachment to living a life that I desire, a life which I wish to experience. I am not sure I can keep hacking away at these bushes with nothing more than hope to energize me. Hope based on faith and trust, nothing else. I have to shoot at a target I can not see, it is life and death that I hit it dead center, and somehow I have to pull that trigger knowing that the bullet will find its mark. From where can I get this knowing, how can I feel it, when all I can see and experience are the brambles I am hacking my way through?
I seem to have little choice. I can not walk the broad way any more. I am just not able to function under the heavy weight of darkness I find myself lost within as I walk this road that has been so laboriously constructed. I want to enjoy my life, live it to the fullest, throw myself into each moment as it comes, experience each moment completely and totally. I can only do that as I walk, step by step and swing by swing, along the straight and narrow way. I don’t know how I will release my attachment to better circumstances and situations, but I must, because that is the only way to proceed.
But I am just so tired…