By and large, we have to find our own way

rural roadsBernadette Roberts was one of my early influences. I was reading her books while in college and studying religion. Though, to be clear, it was extra-curricular reading, not assignments from class.

The below excerpt is about one of my favorite and most important themes on Beyond Meds. That we all have a different path to wholeness and wellness. I taped an interview for a radio program the other day and suggested that an effective mental health care system would need to be able to provide a smorgasbord of treatment options. I mean that. There is no way that cookie cutter methods of healing is ever going to meaningfully respond to the endless variety of needs among human beings.

Here Bernadette speaks to this issue in terms of the spiritual journey:

As individuals on the spiritual journey we may continually meet with steps not described by anyone else, for our journey is unique to us. It is inconceivable that all along we merely fit into the footsteps of those ahead; no one’s foot print will be a perfect match – we must be under no illusion in this matter. Our experiences and milestones will strike us as different. Sometimes we are lucky to even find any similarity, or enough to tell us we are still on the path.

By and large, we have to find our own way and persevere when the milestones are few, and far between, and most of the time we do not know where we are on the path. Still worse, we may think we are no longer on the path at all! This however is the very nature of the journey, with all its insecurities and unknowing: we are walking in the dark and more often than not we do not even recognize our place on the path until we have already passed it and can see it in retrospect.

Then too, in order to reach for the next rung on the ladder our present rung has to fall out from under us, and this is always a bewildering event. We have to let go, and reach for – what? We do not know. Though we may spend our life studying the path, in the living, in the journey, all this thinking and knowing will be shattered. — Bernadette Roberts, Unpublished Essay

thanks to Contemplative Day Book

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