Everyone walks their own path. It’s different than everybody else’s, and the only thing they have in common is that they stretch on as long as you’re still here.
Perfection is not the goal at the end of the path; we aren’t listening to the song for the end, as Watts would say. Instead, Perfection is a mountain in the distance, always visible from your path, as a guideline. You can get closer to it to see its beauty better, but you’ll never fully reach it while you’re on this road.
Along our paths are milestones. We set those ourselves, no matter what anyone else would like us to believe. They can be grand or meaningless, but since the road stretches on forever, they’re our only real way of keeping track of how far we’ve come. Make your milestones count.
There are also obstacles. Many of them. When you hit one, take your time getting back up. Dust yourself off, make certain that you’re alright. But then move along; don’t sit in disgust at your failures. We’ve a lot of road to cover before night falls, and we can’t see it all if we give up too often. But make your obstacles count, too. You don’t have to make monuments to them, but remember them. Grow from the experience. Learn what you can, and move along.
Along the way, your path will cross the paths of others. They may even walk a road beside your own for a time. They may stay and chat or be gone before you have time to learn their names. Make these crossings count. Use them as a means to practice kindness. Share your bread and water with them, encourage them as you can. Give them the shelter of your understanding, because you don’t know what they’ve been through or what awaits them.
Take ownership of your path. Know that it’s fully yours, and nobody else can change where you are on it without your permission. Make your milestones, as many or as few as you choose, and celebrate when you reach them. Then make more, and trudge along again. Learn from your failures, remember them. Then make more, and trudge along again. Honor those you meet along the way. Share with them your heart, your wisdom, your food. Make friends. Then make more, and trudge along again.
These paths we walk are unique. One person wide, but so many side-by-side. You may travel by yourself, but you are never alone. You may stumble, but you will rise. And at the end of your path, you will look back on everything as though it were a gift, even the stones in the road, and feel blessed you had the courage to keep walking.