The Path of Immersion Starts in the Home: How a Family Vacation Returns Me to Where My Journey Began
Prior to my experience last year I was convinced that journeys were in fact linear. One begins at point A (literally or metaphorically), and ends at point B. Even if this involves transformation, you simply cannot, as Heraclitus said, enter the same river twice.
The Path of Immersion and the resulting Fluid Life that I follow today suggests a slightly different approach.
Last night, my wife approached me as I wrapped up the final touches to the bibliographical information for the Project Conversion book. I’d worked on this project all week as I tied loose ends in preparation for our family vacation.
“You know, you’re a completely different person now compared to the last time we went on this vacation,” she said from the chair beside me.
I squinted at the laptop screen. “Oh yeah?”
“Well, the last time we went on vacation with my parents was September of 2010. It was awful. You and my mom were fighting so much and you had just become so angry at…at everything.”
I turned from the screen and took off my glasses.
She lowered her eyes and continued.
“I remember sitting in bed that night, crying, because I wasn’t sure if our marriage would last. It was like you were on fire and wanted to burn the rest of the world with you.”
Please note: I began planning Project Conversion in October of 2010–one month after that painful vacation with my family. Something happened after those few days with my family, an impetus, a realization, the call for change.
Now, my family (including my in-laws) are going on the exact vacation in a matter of days. At first, I wasn’t interested in a vacation, after all, who needs a vacation when one is doing what he loves? I see now, however, that our journeys in life and with one another are cyclical. We circumnavigate, re-emerging here and there in the lives of ourselves and others, as completely altered beings.
In a way, this vacation is the great return of my entire journey. I’ve arrived at the precise moment, the climax of my hatred of the world, only two years later as a creature transformed by the grace and compassion of a world I’d long sentenced to execution.
I realized last evening, as my wife confided that painful secret, that the Path of Immersion and the resulting Fluid Life does not begin by immediately going forth and spreading the message to the masses, but in–having completely changed–reinvesting oneself in the lives of those closest to her. A river must indeed, begin as a trickle, then a spring, before nourishing the world as a mighty river, and we must be patient with our growth.
On this vacation, I’m immersing myself in my family. I pledge to have a good time, to flow freely, and reinvest in the people who stood by me in my darkest days. The Fluid Life is one of exchange and nourishment with one another, and I must remember that had my family not maintained the steady waves that eventually melted my cold heart, I would not be here today, sharing that message with you.