The Universal Journey

Sometimes we set out on the world, bent on finding adventure. We pack what we feel we’ll need for the journey, whether it’s a backpack full of gear or simply a free spirit. Some choose to bid farewell to loved ones while others opt for the open road. Some are running away from fears while others are running directly towards them. But what each wanderer possesses within is a vagabond soul, an insatiable appetite for seeing the unseen, for trekking the untrekked.  

We circle globes, we cross oceans, we traverse deserts, we bridge canyons, all in search of some uncharted place. We imagine a cavern that’s never been entered, a lagoon that’s never been swum in, or a vast expanse of field that’s never been stomped on. What we seek is liberation: to be released from what before held so tightly onto us. What we seek is exhilaration: to breathe in a way so deep and profound that what enters our lungs is not air but pure peace. And what we seek is revelation: a genuine, honest-to-God encounter with a truth not even slightly marred by the rest of the world. 

This liberation is felt in the mind, when we reach that place where nothing is holding us back, where neither past nor future infringe on the moment in front of us. This exhilaration is felt in the spirit, when we see something in an entirely new light, regardless of whether we’ve stared it in the face thousands of times before. And this revelation is felt in the soul, when the peace of the moment intertwines ever so delicately with everything we’ve ever known, when past wounds are healed up and future doubts are unclouded, when we’ve come face to face with some mountain, or some river, or some other human being, and we realize that what we’ve been seeking all along, what we left home to look for, was right within us the entire time.

We only needed someone, or something, or some experience, to point us in the right direction: not out in the world, but inward. 

It’s there that we discover this inherent, desperate, undeniable need to share, whether with a dear friend or a complete stranger, because all souls in this world have a common chord running through them. In each body it manifests itself differently. In each life it finds its way to the surface at different times and through different means. Some are eager to let it flow forth while others tend to bury it somewhere deep. But in each soul it’s crafted just the same.  

Some of us find this truth peering over an immense gorge, filled with colors and sounds beyond description. Some of us find this truth surrounded by a dancing village, singing in an unfamiliar language. Some of us find this truth staring ourselves in the mirror, until that calloused case over our eyes breaks down and reveals what’s always been tenderly tucked behind it.

This truth, depicted simultaneously in hauntingly beautiful vistas, vibrantly joyous celebrations, and eerily authentic loneliness, is captured in no more than one word, and that is this: love. 

We all have this desire, rooted within us, to be loved. From the earliest years of life to the last few, it’s clearly seen. But what many of us set out on the globe to look for is the other half of that desire: not just to be loved, but to love. 

To love is to find all at once liberation, exhilaration, and revelation. To love wholly and completely is to experience all at once what we each set out to find: freedom, and joy, and truth.

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