The tradition on this day is to reflect on the past year. What a year I have had, such a roller coaster. I was at my lowest early on, but now that low seems like it will lead me to my highest. That is how it usually happens, yet, in the midst of the darkness, it becomes so hard to see a new path in front of you.
You think that you have your life planned out, then you are blindsided by some circumstance and it is all over. All the plans and dreams are gone. You have to step back and reset your plans and goals. That is easier said than done and until that happens, your life is in a suspended state, purgatory, the bardo, whatever you call it, life cannot go back to what it was. But you are still there, unable to move forward. You can’t move at all. All you can do is sit there in shock.
Slowly a new path appears. Overtime, this new path, this new trail, becomes clearer and more vivid. When you look back on that old path, it has become overgrown and dense with cob webs. Almost undetectable. Those dreams and goals lay like broken limbs and dead trees on the old path. You start to look at things in your past differently, you see details that you missed. You realize that it was not the best trail for you, you just thought it was.
Slowly, this old trail starts to fade, the fog of time becomes dense and dark, then a new path appears. You start taking a few timid steps towards it. You have to remind yourself that the darkness of the past trails cannot be so powerful that it consumes the sunshine of the new path, the new future that is ahead of you.
This is where so many people go wrong, they spend so much time thinking and looking at the old dark, overgrown trails, they don’t see the new one in front of them. They don’t get a full chance to enjoy the new path in all it’s glory.
I choose to look ahead! The new path deserve my full attention. Looking back will only rob ourselves of the beauty of the new trail. The old path is behind me, now is the time to look forward, not backwards.