Progress is a labor of love, a slow, steady climb towards something that we believe to be attainable, but only because most of us are still under the impression, the delusion, that there is something to be obtained at the end of our journey. That there is an actual end point, that we’re traveling a straight, linear line taking us from Point A to Point Z. That we’re traveling this path with a clear end in sight, and once we reach that end, we’ll have all the answers.
On my road of recovery and progress, I’ve come to realize that nothing could be further from the truth. There is no clear start and end point, as we’ve all come to those points a million times over. To say there is a clear start and end point is to say we understand the beginnings and endings of the universe – it’s to say those illusions even exist. The more profound and limitless we see the world, the more we understand ourselves and the path we walk. The more we understand the spiral of life, the more we see our experiences, and really, ourselves, as we truly are – endless, ever-flowing, ever-growing, ever-changing.
Our progress can me measured in the subtle changes that lead to the bigger ones; the words we say to ourselves in challenging times and the tone with which we whisper (or shout) them; the ways we choose to react, or not; the words we say to others to soothe or to scold; the people we choose to include in our experience; the experiences we choose to enter into; the life contracts we choose to fulfill; the way in which we approach these contracts, or better phrased, our true life’s work.
Progress isn’t measured in terms of money or material possessions, but by the light in your eyes and the gentleness of your words. We have so many opportunities every day to turn to weakness, to insecurities, to let these feelings of doubt and fear rule our lives. We can always choose to take the easy way out, to not do the right thing. Real progress is taking on the real challenges of integrity and BECOMING integrity. Becoming the person you know you are when no one’s around, the person you may be embarrassed or ashamed to be, even if that person is better than the illusion you let everyone else believe. Progress is having the courage to live up to the light inside of you, no matter what.
Being in the moment, I mean REALLY being in the moment with the people you love is one of the greatest markers of progress I can think of. Stepping outside your racing mind of do-to lists, projects, things you need to accomplish for YOURSELF in the act of being truly present with another is one of the most beautiful actions you can take in a day. Sharing, loving, engaging…those are the real signs and results of progress. They’re as never-ending and undying as the endless spiral we’re all traveling, as we encounter each other over and over and over again, hoping to make closer, more intimate connections this time around, hoping to get it right, not realizing that we’re getting it right, just by being here. Just by living, breathing and connecting. Just by loving. That is TRUE progress.