YOU ARE HERE.
How many times have we seen those words – usually on maps – and almost always accompanied by a large red X (with or without an arrow pointing to it) so that you know that THIS X, not some other random X, is the one you need to be paying attention to?
But be honest here, how much attention do you actually ever pay to the X?
I know exactly what happens because I’ve done it myself.
You pull into the rest area and run up to the map. “Okay, we’re here” you say, pointing to the X “and this is where we need to go,” you add, pointing to a place that is where the X is not. “So if we turn left…” and off you go, determined to get to your location to “do” whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing or to get to where it is that you think you should be going.
The poor X never stands a chance.
But do you want to hear the really sad thing? Once you get to your destination, most people don’t pay any attention to it either – even though it’s a completely different X! Once they get to where it is they think they should be going, they are so busy doing what they think they should be doing; or planning out another leg of the journey, that they never stop to look around them and see just where it is that they ARE.
I still remember the first time I actually paid attention to the X.
We’d stopped at a roadside rest area (the kind with the lean-to of snack and soda machines and the big area map standing alone with its own small roof and helpful spotlights so that you can’t miss it – and a BIG RED X – with an arrow pointing to it.
In bold black words written beside it, this one said: YOU ARE HERE
and underneath, scribbled in messy black marker was one additional word: WHY?
It made me chuckle, but it also made me think.
You ARE here. Now. For good or bad, for better or worse. THIS is where you are at this present moment in time. I don’t care if the place where you currently are is a good place and everything seems to be going swimmingly, or a bad place where one more day is going to send you over the edge, or a place that is non-descript and really rather boring. The point is, YOU ARE HERE, and I bet you haven’t even taken the time to really look around you and appreciate the view much less to see if there is anything interesting going on.
Perhaps it IS just a stopping point, a rest area; a red X on the map of your soul journey, but it is still a part of your journey, and if you’re going make the trip, you might as well enjoy the scenery, because who knows, maybe there IS no destination.
For all we know, experiencing each moment of now; each moment in which we find ourselves; may be all the purpose there is. If so, we’re messing it up big time.
So the next time you find yourself looking at that big map comparing how far you’ve come and how far there is yet to go, take a moment to stop and look around you. Are there other people at your rest area? What are they doing? How’s the view? Is that maharachi music coming from the other side of the kiosk?
Yes, I know, you don’t want to linger too long. After all, you have a journey to undertake and you want to get there as soon as possible, but take a few moments to appreciate where you are; the HERE that you are currently standing at, and the churros at that little stand on the other side of the map.
So….are we there yet?