The following is a guest blog by Joan Chittister that appeared on Maria Shriver’s website.
It wasn’t any kind of special moment when it happened. It wasn’t my birthday, for instance, or an
anniversary of anything. It wasn’t even a class reunion. I was just sitting somewhere, gazing into space,
doing nothing whatsoever of significance or importance or of any particular kind of enjoyment.
Just sitting, waiting for a friend to arrive. And then it happened. The gentlest sense of wholeness and
down-deep satisfaction came over me that I have ever known. It enfolded me like a warm mist and
calmed me to the core.
Every ounce of taut energy so common in me had been drained, it seemed. Only the feeling of being
totally, quietly, completely alive remained. Then I realized what it was: I was happy. Happy. That’s all.
But it has not always been thus. There were hollow, gaping times of uncertainty, when the direction
seemed wrong or the path it promised was at best a dull and dreary dead end. Those were not happy
times. They were times that were productive, even successful, but not happy.
Then, I read a line from the philosopher Sören Kierkegaard that made me pause. “Life,” Kierkegaard
wrote, "can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards.”
At that moment, I decided to write this book. The shame is, I think, that there are so many others still
“living it forward” who get very little help in doing it in a time when help has never been needed more.
Click here to read full post at Maria Shriver’s blog.
Following the Path: The Search for a
Life of Passion, Purpose and Joy