When it comes to going on a journey, why does it always feel as though the way back feels infinitely shorter than the way there?
I had this thought the other week, as I took a long walk along the South Coast of New South Wales.
I was quiet for a change.
Which to those that know me on a personal level, comprehend that this is almost nothing short of a miracle.
And is often met with an “are you ok?” from whomever I’m with.
(On a side note, if I’m quiet, there’s definitely something wrong…)
I was taking in the breathtaking scenery.
The crystal clear, aqua blue water to my right. The large trees flanking me, every which way I looked. The sound of the native birds in the trees.
I was carefully absorbing everything around me.
At the same time, I was praying that there were no animals waiting to attack me. I was clumsily attempting to navigate the unsteady ground beneath me. Praying that ticks wouldn’t attach themselves to my limbs (and thank you, to my mother for putting so much fear in me, in every situation I encounter in this relatively short lifetime of ours…).
Taking in the earthy smells of the native flora and fauna, infused with the salty air that clinged stickily to my skin.
On the way back, I noticed I had become more confident, and wasn’t being as cautious as I was on the journey there. And I was finally back to my talkative self.
And then I had a thought.
I wondered why the way back, always felt so much easier, and shorter, than the way there.
Because you are seeing, and experiencing everything for the first time when you are undertaking whatever journey you have decided upon for the first time.
You are open to your new experience. Yet, you are also fearful.
Taking it all in like a proverbial sponge.
Both the good stuff, and the bad.
So if the way back – or the second time you’re doing it – feels as though it’s taking much less time, does this mean that you are not absorbing the truth of your experience on the way back?
Are you glossing over the minor details upon your return?
I would have to say, no.
No, you’re not.
You’ve become confident.
You have already walked this path before. So it’s easier to walk it when you have to do it again.
You stop sweating the “small stuff”.
Because that’s crap – it seriously doesn’t matter.
You have a greater appreciation for all of the other stuff.
You are naturally more relaxed with the familiarity of the situation.
You understand the route that needs to be taken in order to get yourself to relative safety.
To where you need to be.
You are able to navigate your way through, what seems like an obstacle course.
Because you are familiar with what comes next.
You are less afraid.
You are well equipped to deal with whatever emotions arise within.
You’ve experienced them all before.
And if the two motivating forces in life, are fear, and love, (which I often touch upon), then it is surely no longer the fear that is holding you back.
It is only love, propelling you forward.
Which makes it so much more excellent.
Love is everything.
This is why it feels like it takes less time.
Because you’re not “sweating the small stuff”.
Confidence is a strange thing.
It’s a combination of both love, and acceptance of the vulnerability that ensues from walking an uncertain path.
I believe it comes down to trust.
Trust that everything is going to work out exactly as it should.
All you have to do, is send your thoughts, and feelings out into the universe, and watch and see what happens. And not let fear of the unknown hold you in a place where you are afraid of every new thing that crosses your path.
If you have walked the path previously, you have to trust yourself, the universe, God, whatever – that everything will work out for the very best.
Exactly as it should.
So if this is the second time you are walking this unknown path, trust that your heart is guiding you towards whatever is good for your soul.
And you can liken this to anything in your universe.
A new career. A new relationship. A new place to live…
Life is constant stream of new experiences. Of endings, and of beginnings. Of new interactions.
Of things that may get you out of your comfort zone.
Things that may burst your heart wide open.
And things that will break that heart of yours all the same.
But these things are not there to frighten you.
They’re there to remind you what is “worth it”.
Take a new journey.
I dare you to.
Even if it’s one that you feel as though you have potentially taken before, and want to avoid at all costs.
Because if you know that you have all of the experience from your last journey behind you, then this one will be that much easier.
And so much more excellent. That, I can promise you.
You’ve been there before, and you have a whole new list of the things that don’t work for you.
Which is why it feels as though this journey is taking much less time than the last trip you took. Because you finally know what works.
Live in the now.
Don’t dwell in the past.
And most importantly, don’t let fear, or past resentments, hold you back from discovering your hearts desire.
Don’t ever allow your heart to harden. Keep it soft – not only for others, but for yourself.
We always catch more flies with honey…
You have to say “fuck it”.
Surrender to what is.
Cross your fingers, and trust that everything is working out exactly as it should.
You’ve got this – I promise…