Imagine that your life is a road.
Whether long and winding or short and straight, your life is a road, complete with switchbacks, pit stops, mountains, bridges, crossroads, trial, trouble, and adventure.
On this road, to get from here to the end, you are given one car. Just one, and you must drive. You cannot walk, and you don’t get to pick the car you get. Make, model, color, size, quality, seating capacity, cupholders. You get what is decided for you.
You set out on your journey, face forward, peering intently through the windshield. You are excited! The road of life is good. Your soul is full of hope and promise, “because ROAD TRIP,” and your heart leaps at every single magnificent view as you pass it by. You see amazing things, you feel amazing things, you overcome obstacles in the road in an amazing way.
At the beginning of your journey and well into the middle, your car is like-new and reliable. It turns when you tell it to turn, when your feet reflect the speed of your heart and push the pedal down, the car speeds up and slows down as you’d expect. You sometimes have a few hiccups because of required maintenance, but the car gives back to you what you put into it. When you take care of the car, it takes care of you.
And so you drive.
You learn. You see new things, you meet new people. Sometimes you caravan with those you meet, driving with them for as long as the road is wide enough, and the trajectory is the same.
But then you change.
Or life changes, or choices are put before you and you have to choose a path.
Eventually, inevitably, something happens that you did not expect, and that you did not see coming. You reach a gap in the road, and you must change target to avoid fear, pain, and a course so choked with weeds and rocks it would take all your car could muster to make the trip. You switch direction. The new path you drive takes you away from those you love, away from those you drove with for so long. The road is rough and bumpy, and the ride is rugged. Your body and heart grow sore and tired from the violent shaking, your fingers and arms and fists and mind ache from gripping the wheel as tight as you can, from concentrating so intently on what is coming before you.
You feel worn out and empty, but you keep going. You have to.
As the road smooths out, you find a new way. Your path changes over and over, but you are always moving forward. Sometimes you look back in the rearview, and you feel a deep longing. You feel sadness for things gone past, yearning for what you might have missed, a feeling like “I wasn’t finished yet,” but still you push forward. You put your foot down hard and sometimes you just cruise, but always forward. Always onward.
At the end of the road, at the end of your journey only and never once before, you get to get out of your car. You get to the end of your pilgrimage and you start another outside of your ride, but before you move on you turn back and look at the car you drove, the car that brought you so far, the car that kept you safe and moved you forward, without fail, without stopping, without hesitation or revolt or pause.
You look back, and if you’re really really lucky, your car might look like this.
See, that car you drive is the body that contains you. A machine of meat and bone, bound together with collagen and fiber, nothing more than a vehicle to carry YOU, the passenger, from beginning to end.
You are not your body, and your body is not you. You do not actually look like the body you live in, you look like this.
We are not our bodies, we are the spark inside. We are love and light, passion and pure energy, fury and heat greater than the sun, groups of atoms inside the bodies that carry us, atoms colliding with the same force that created the moon and lit the stars.
Although they are not who we are, our body-cars are magnificent creations. They carry us from here to there, they provide shelter and warmth, they allow us to express what’s inside, to do what ignites our spark to blinding lightedness, to hold hands and hug other body-cars and snuggle close to those we love.
When we love, we glow. That’s our spark.
When we ache and hurt and fear and shrink, that’s the spark inside our chest dimming and fading, clouded and obscured.
When we drive our body-car down the wrong road, when we drive our body-car into the dirt and muck, when we drive it down a road that is filled with horror and hate, animosity and pain, when we get stuck inside ditches and pits, the body-car suffers, but not nearly as much as our spark. We flicker and sputter, choke and smoke, and sometimes it dims to the point where we cannot see it at all.
It is still there.
It is ALWAYS there.
Even when you can’t feel it. Even when you can’t SEE IT. Even when your whole world falls apart and every breath is pain and your heart aches for the sweet release of the journey’s end, it is still there.
It is always there, and it is absolutely. the ONLY THING. that EVER MATTERS.
When your body-car is trashed because you swerved into the guardrail, scraping and stretching and banging the sides, all because there was a baby in the road that you had to have, to grow, to keep safe inside your body-car until it was ready for it’s own, every cut and bump and wrinkle and gash is earned, and every one is worth it.
When your body-car is driven down a road full of bumper cars and late nights, when you drive it into the ground, when you abuse it and push it past the point of safety because it’s fun and exciting and you’re bored and you hate EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR STUPID BODY-CAR, it keeps going. It gets banged up, but it keeps going.
Your body-car will not quit you, and we can’t quit our body-cars, but we try.
OH MY GOODNESS WE TRY SO HARD.
Look at the spark.
Look at YOU.
Look past the wrinkles and folds. Look past the stretch marks and dimples, the cellulite and shape, the weight and size and height and skin and hair and bone and teeth and fear and insecurity, and look Deeper.
Look ALL THE WAY DEEPER.
Look into the eyes you see in the mirror, and keep looking until you find your spark. Find your spark, and never, ever look away.
Find your spark, and you’ve found your Greatness, and with it you will absolutely change the world.
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