Back on the Road to Enlightenment
‘The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, which is why I’ve asked all of you to bring sandwiches and a change of clothes’ –B. Kliban
I love this quote, it really cracks me up (laughing) I’ve read many variations of this over the years, the first one was a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon, which unfortunately I couldn’t find this time around. I read it when I was in my twenties, and I hadn’t a clue about enlightenment then. All I cared about in those days was the weekend when we would party like crazy, and spend the five days in between, daydreaming about what happened and wondering about what would happen the following weekend. There was no such thing as living in the ‘now’, that hadn’t enough excitement in it!
The road to enlightenment wasn’t on my map, and it wasn’t well signposted from where I was looking.
‘Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ She asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ Responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know’, Alice answered. ‘Then’, said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter’. Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland quote)
Like Alice in the story I didn’t know where I wanted to go, and to be perfectly honest I spent most of my life like that, drifting from this to that, never really very happy, never finding true fulfilment in anything. Oh yes I settled down , got married, had kids, a house, several jobs, lots of responsibility, but still didn’t really know where I wanted to go in life, until my marriage broke up ! And that woke me up, and I asked myself, ‘Now where do you want to go?’ I looked back down the road I’d come, and I knew if I stayed on it, I was in for more of the same that went before and I couldn’t handle more of that so, I decided that I’d try a new road this time, I took stock of my life. I began to do small courses and at one of them the tutor asked the class one by one at what age did we become adults, most answered at 18 or 21, when she got to me I said 44 ! After the laughter died down, I explained that when I separated from my husband, I really grew up and learned to take full responsibility for my life!
Oh I’m not saying that you have to go through anything as drastic as a marital separation or a big drama in your life, for you to find yourself on the road to enlightenment. Yes it was a kick in the butt that I needed, but I’m asking you, ‘Why wait til something happens?’ You can kick start yourself onto it anytime this moment if you wish!
Well I have to go now… I have my sandwiches… change of clothes…my new attitude; do you want to come too? Yes? Then get a pen and paper out first, and write down ‘My Ideal Life….is…..fill in the blanks. Your road may be different from mine, the best directions I can give you is to start at a signpost marked ‘What I want’, from there follow the signpost ‘Where do I want to go to get what I want’…now you’re on YOUR road to enlightenment, I wish you well , and oh, don’t forget the sandwiches !