Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't Hog Your Journey...

My cousins, lil sis and me, circa 1968...
we're each a part of the others journey

"Don't hog your journey, it's not just for you." As I was listening to the Today show while working, Hoda Kotb was sharing a story. While on a plane, she was visiting with the gentleman sitting beside her. Chit-chatting away, she had mentioned she had had breast cancer. She asked him not to think of that if he ever thought of her in the future. He turned to her and said, "Don't hog your journey, it's not just for you." I kept thinking of that statement and have decided that I agree with it. What if no one ever shared their story~their journey...good or bad. My world would certainly not be as rich and full as it is now. I would not know of another's happiness, adventures, struggles. I would not be who I am today without knowing of another's journey.

Hoda's story is great, and deep, and more than just her breast cancer...for sure! We are all more than just one part. We are, shall we say, the sum of all our parts. I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter an entrepreneur...the list goes on and on. But, it's the sum of all of these things that makes me who I am today. I enjoy sharing my journey...it gives me great pleasure and I hope it adds to your journey, too.

The other day, I stopped by the "Music in the Park" event held at the city park in town. In amongst the music...which was very enjoyable, I heard someone get up and give a testimonial. I wonder, did his journey make a difference to someone else in the crowd. It did mine and I'm sure another's. Then I have to think...what if he didn't share his "journey"? What if he kept it to himself...I would not have known the depth of his story...his courage in sharing it. It has stuck with me...and, it removed me from my cares and woes and opened my mind, my heart, to another's struggles and triumphs.

Life is a Journey, isn't it? Sometimes we're on a mountain, sometimes we're in a valley. Most of the time, I'd guess we're just motating along on the plaines. Enjoying life, taking one day at a time, doing what needs to be done and just cruising along. To me, it's the mountains and valleys that we grow the most. We are pushed to our limit, only to find our limit can be pushed. We read something or hear of someone else's journey and we gain strength from it. We realize we're not alone. Somehow, we come out on the other side because of it...but don't necassarily understand where it came from. What if no one shared their journey? Who would be a better, stronger, wiser person because of your journey? Maybe your journey is told by your actions. How you reach out to your community members, volunteering, donating, a struggle overcome. Our journey's are shared in many different ways. The key is that it's shared.

"Don't hog your journey, it's not just for you." I would not be who I am today without knowing of another's journey. And this folks, is the view from my front porch.

Beth Voltmer lives on a farm in rural New Virginia

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