1 Copyright © Bob Neville 2018 – www.communityregeneration.net.au
Your Life’s Journey Going nowhere - or knowing where you’re going..? (Bob Neville) (Cover Paining by Joyce Neville – 1930-1984)
We all came into this world without choice, without understanding and without personal control over what happens to us for at least twelve to fifteen years. But what of our future - is our life destined to chance and circumstances? Or can we actually have control of the destiny that awaits us beyond formative years? Understanding the answers can mean the difference between “going nowhere” or “knowing where you’re going.”
Please think carefully about these next few statements: You could have been born into the most affluent wealth or royalty. You could have been born into poverty, disease or even into famine in one of the most desolate and most dangerous places on the planet, into any culture or into any religion. You could have been born into love or into hate, or into indifference or even into abuse. You could have been born into mental illness or into physical disability. One thing is for sure – you had no choice over these things and for many, their destiny is
controlled by others for their entire lifetime or by their own circumstances which never allow them to reach beyond the mere drive for selfpreservation. Destiny it seems has dealt the card of life’s journey for each of us and we must play the game according to the rules which have been placed upon us and with the card that each of us has been given. This is true, it is absolute, and while we can speculate about the reasons why – whether it be time and chance, the will of God or mere fate, such speculation or belief is personal, if we ever even think about it at all.
If we are born into this level of comparative plenty or much more and reach a crossroad on our life journey - that is - a place where we can stop, reflect and choose the direction we want to go - then we have more than most people who live or who have ever lived and with it we have a huge responsibility. But how many of us appreciate this or even contemplate its treasure?
Yet, while we cannot change the card that life has dealt to us at the start of life’s journey, whether it is going to be a very short journey or perhaps a very long one, we may well be able to change the way in which we play that card during our lifetime. To have plenty - in comparative human terms - is merely to have enough food to eat and clothes to wear and with great fortune, the opportunity to learn to read and write. Most people who ever lived have never had even this level of abundance.
2 Copyright © Bob Neville 2018 – www.communityregeneration.net.au
No, it seems the more we have the more we want and the less we care about those whose journey never finds a path away from poverty and pain. In our more affluent societies, where we live for the shortterm off the wealth of future generations with no concern that we are leading our own children swiftly into slavery to debt and poverty, we need to think about these things, and not just think, but seriously reflect on just how fortunate we have been to receive the card that we have been dealt for life’s journey. It is not enough to say: “Well, the rest of the world got itself into this mess so there is nothing I can do.” If that is your attitude, then to you I say: “If you are full and satisfied, bloated by your spoils, content to live off what others provide, you will never hear the cries of your community and your own life-journey will ultimately deal you the card you deserve.” These words are meant to cause you to reflect on where you are right now and to understand the real value of the card of life’s journey that you have been dealt.
Life’s experience (good and bad) combined with who we are, our birthright, or birth-gift as I prefer to describe it, (that is, your inherited genetic makeup of natural abilities, gifts, talents and temperament) brings you on life’s journey to the present crossroad. Will you keep going, just following the crowd, or will you stop, contemplate and perhaps see a need to change your direction? What has the card of life’s journey dealt to you thus far? Are you content, or are you confounded or confused? Have you ever really stopped to think about where life’s journey has brought you, why, whether it is really taking you where you would really like to go, or meant to go, or whether you are just aimlessly going along for the ride? If you are content, then at least stop and take a good long look at the basis for that contentment. Are you enjoying the rich spoils of life’s journey with indifference to the pain and suffering of others? Or are you using or abusing the physical bounties of life to excess and even to the extent that you are causing pain to those around you?
Or, do you fully appreciate that all that you have or even don’t have, is by the chance of birth and blessing and not really by the power of your own hand, regardless of just how much you’ve worked for it or regardless of how much you believe it is your right? The real question, the only one that really matters now at this crossroad is “which way should I go now?” You can ask yourself some basic questions before moving on. For example: What or who has brought me to this crossroad and why am I going this direction?
Has everything that I have experienced and learned (good and bad) up to this point been by mere chance or has it actually brought me to this crossroad where I may now be asking “why”?
Is there something “deep within” – some “seed” of personal fulfillment or destiny that is trying to get out of me – something that I feel drawn towards doing or achieving?
3 Copyright © Bob Neville 2018 – www.communityregeneration.net.au
A seed of personal fulfillment or even personal destiny, is a deepfelt sense of awareness, longing or even urgency about understanding, pursuing or achieving a passion or life-goal to which you may feel strongly drawn…!
Consider: Do you already know what that seed is within you? Do you now already know what it is you should be pursuing in life - what it is that your total life experience to this crossroad has brought you to understand? If so, then you are ready to take that direction. If not, then the Pool of Reflection need to be a “mirage” – the difference between your dreams and achieving them may well be a simple as “doing something” or “doing nothing.” Do you sense the presence of such a seed within you but are still unsure of exactly what fruit that seed could bear? Perhaps all it needs is the water of encouragement and support to sprout a new direction in your life?
The first step is to identify a path towards finding that seed passion of personal fulfilment which is surely somewhere within you. There are SEVEN positive lifepaths, one or more of which may hold the key for you. What might yours be founded upon? 1. Could it be someone special in your life or could it be your family? 2. Could it be a driving need for change - to overcome some burden or situation or fear in your life that is has been constantly with you?
3. Could it be in giving your time, your gifts, your experience and resources to serve your community either as a leader, or help in a worthy cause? 4. Could it be your job, or finding or starting the right job, career, business? 5. Could it be developing and using a special gift or talent, hobby, interest that you know is there but which you have not allowed to grow? 6. Could it be achieving a life-long personal goal such as to learn, to write, to travel, or to run or perhaps to climb the highest mountain or “win over” some challenge? 7. Could it be a belief or philosophy that you are searching for, or have identified, study, accept and follow - true spirituality, a way of life or striving for understanding, values or even striving for freedom itself? One or more of these seven positive life-paths may help you to find your destiny seed.
When you look into the mirror of these paths to personal destiny truthfully, you have an initial path to finding your true personal fulfilment - the thing or things that drive you “under the radar”. These can be very personal, or something you have no hesitation in sharing. There is a perception that success comes from accumulating wealth in various forms. Yet, true wealth for each of us, comes ultimately in fulfilling our personal goals and a destiny of making much money may not be your passion or your lot in life, so do not be discouraged or distracted. For me, personal fulfilment is found firstly on path number seven - growing in understanding of the Natural Science of Small Community Regeneration and through this path encouraging individuals to explore and find their own path to personal fulfilment - to help them make their life more personally rewarding – especially in their own community. Secondly, path number five reflects my lifelong interest in photographing nature.
If not, then perhaps you might find your path by listing them in order of interest? This can be confronting personally. Yet, before you do, consider the following: If you are tempted to place path number one at the top of the list, feeling that surely the most important motivation “must” be that someone special or your family. Not necessarily..!
4 Copyright © Bob Neville 2018 – www.communityregeneration.net.au
Hopefully, this message may have helped you to reflect on your present situation and to consider your present life-path.
So think about this important life-question at this stage in your life, right now. Are you “going nowhere” or do you “know where you are going”? Please - don’t leave your life to mere chance…! Discover the uniquely individual seed of personal destiny that is planted in you
and water it with passionate enthusiasm – then watch it grow. This way you will (sooner or later) discover your unique purpose in life. Picasso understood this – when he said “the meaning of life is to find your gift – the purpose of life is to give it away” (that is, to “share” your gift.) My mother discovered here gift late in life – she then loved to paint and in her last few years, while struggling with fading health, her “Pool of Reflection” resulted in some very life-
reflecting images, like the one on the front page of this Article.
So find your gift. Dare to dream - even aim for the stars and in so doing you might reach way beyond - or at least - you may reach the moon or the tip of the highest mountain or see what is over that elusive next hill.
5 Copyright © Bob Neville 2018 – www.communityregeneration.net.au
Your Life's Journey - Going nowhere or knowing where you're going?