Throughout my life, I have experienced many peaks and valleys. Like many of you, beginning at a very young age, I learned quickly the faces of sincerity and hope, as well as faces of betrayal and jealousy. I cannot say which I appreciate more. The faces of goodness have reminded me of the light in the world, and the faces of negativity serve as a reminder that this life is a forever challenge for good or for bad. For you or me to be something and make a difference in this world, we must be touched, sometimes whipped, by the throes of good and evil, and it is ultimately up to us to make a choice. Do we choose to follow the right road, or do we detour and find ourselves on the wrong road?
As far back as I can remember, I recall my father asking me, “Do you want to be special in this lifetime?” To which I answered, “Yes.” That was one of the earliest life choices I can remember making, and my father held me to it. My father then proceeded to teach me, “If you want to be someone special and achieve great things in this lifetime you must understand that you often will need to be different than everyone else; staying on the good road is not always simple or common. It is not easy to break away from the common path, but if you can, if you can see your destiny (life path) and remain on the correct road, you will be able to achieve and earn something special in this lifetime. You will learn what many people think they know, but do not know…you will learn to know your true self.”
Years later my life mentor would tell me, “Always remember that the tallest building gets hit by the hardest wind.” This served and serves as one of the greatest lessons I will ever have in my lifetime; ultimately, the more one achieves in this life, the more others will want to challenge you or knock you down…this is human nature. But, you will also encounter greater sincerity within yourself and from others who are on a similar path.”
I have experienced what it is like to have a correct and clear road, what it feels like to be supported along the correct road and conversely, along with my journey. I have also experienced what it is like to detour; to chase concepts of happiness and idealism, only to find that the reward was momentary, and the security of that moment did not last.
One of the most significant questions a human has asked is, “Why am I here?” If you have ever asked yourself that question, then you know that there is a greater meaning to your existence than to simply be born, to live, and to die. A less often asked, but just as important question is, “Who am I?” This seems like a simple answer: “I am Jenelle.” However, when you ask that question honestly, about your relationships, your community, the world, and up to the greater Universe and the heavens, the question of who am I becomes a contemplative process that cannot be expressed with a short verbal answer. The reason I bring this up is that no matter what high or low you find yourself at a given moment, these questions will help you find your path back to the road that leads you to your destiny, just as they have helped me. There is much more that we will explore with this topic in the future.
When I learned to look within myself, I began to gain perspective and understand why my life mentor had always taught me that I had to be my guide. No one has the power to force you onto the right road, except for you. Life is always a choice for good or bad. Only I can keep my eyes on the road ahead so that I do not take the wrong fork in the road. I have also been grateful in my life to have people who have walked the good path to serve as life mentors. Their simple, yet deeply contemplative lessons and philosophy have had an incredible impact on helping me build a life of meaning by staying on the right road of destiny. These lessons, which can be applied to everyday life, and my personal experiences are what I wish to share with you in hopes that they may leave a lasting positive impact on your life as well.