The Joy of the Journey: The Ending Doesn't Matter

The Joy of the Journey: The Ending Doesn't Matter
Image by Patrizia08 

Billy Elliot is the brilliant cinematic saga of an 11-year-old British boy who wants to become a classical ballet dancer. Billy’s plight is especially challenging because he lives in a very macho home and town where men are expected to be manly men, and his family wants him to be a boxer. Billy’s father and older brother, both manly men, find his dance aspirations utterly abhorrent, for they equate them with being a sissy or homosexual. As a result, they do everything they can to squash Billy’s vision and turn him into a "real boy".

But Billy’s ambitions are stronger than his family’s objections, and he pursues his dream in spite of their opposition. Eventually Billy gains a shot at being accepted to a prestigious dance academy, which would offer him a hope of turning his dream into a real career.

At first Billy’s family dismisses the notion as utterly preposterous, but over time they realize that he is sincere, and they grow to support him in his quest. In the process, his father and brother come to heal their deep-seated animosity toward each other. Ultimately, after a great deal of conflict and torment, the family is united in their efforts to get Billy into the dance program.

Does The Ending Matter?

The drama leads to a crucial scene in which Billy receives the long-awaited letter from the dance academy, informing him as to whether or not he has been accepted. The movie’s director does a remarkable job building and milking the tension around opening the letter; I was on the edge of my seat, nearly biting my fingernails waiting to find out if Billy had gotten in.

So as not to spoil the movie for you, I will not tell you the ending. But I will tell you what I felt as I waited to learn what the letter said: it didn’t matter. Whether or not Billy was accepted to the dance school was less important than what had happened to him and his family in the process of his application. As he held fast to his ideals in the face of massive resistance, he developed immense soul strength.

At the same time, his family experienced the healing of a lifetime as they learned to support him and resolve the deep differences they had etched over many years. The invaluable life lessons they all learned, far outshined whether or not he was accepted to the academy. No matter what the letter said, they all triumphed, and a happy ending was assured.

The Journey Is What Leads to the Ending

It is easy to be seduced by the idea that how things turn out is more important than what happens in the process. Manifestations, as desirable as they are, are by-products of the soul qualities that are developed in quest of the goal. The real question is not "How did it turn out?" The question is, "What happened to your spirit as you journeyed?"


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

I studied with a healer who told me that two of his most profound healings occurred with people who passed on soon afterward. "How could that be?" I asked him. He explained, "These people experienced a spiritual healing; their souls came to peace before they passed. Yes, it is important to try to heal the body, but it is more important to heal the spirit."

In my seminars I often work with people who are struggling with having been divorced. Many talk about the "failure" of their marriage. I asked one fellow, "How long were you married?"

"Twenty years," he answered.

"And were you happy most of that time?" I asked.

"Yes, we had a good marriage for many of those years. It was just during the last few years that our relationship unraveled."

"Then why discount the gifts of those good years just because it didn’t last forever?" I asked him.

Failure or Success?

Just because a marriage (or anything) ends, doesn’t mean it failed. Ideally, of course, we would like a marriage to last for a lifetime. But when it doesn’t, we dishonor the relationship by casting an aura of failure over all of it. If you loved, learned, and grew during the time you were together, there was real success.

The relationship is a failure only if you learned nothing and you go on to repeat the same mistakes. And even if you do, all of your experience is contributing to ultimate learning, so it is all part of your soul’s growth.

I find it interesting that, in contrast to other life adventures, we make separate rules of judgment about marriage and relationships. If you stay in a job or a home or a friendship for 10 or 20 years, and then you resign, move, or grow apart, you don’t say, "My job (or home or friendship) failed." You acknowledge that the experience served an important purpose during the time you were in it. Then, when it no longer is a source of life and joy, you acknowledge that you have grown, changed, or moved on, you appreciate its gifts, and release it with love.

When it comes to marriage, however, we are taught that we have failed unless we have stayed together for a lifetime. This seems rather harsh to me.

Let’s begin to celebrate our lives as an adventure in dynamic unfoldment. Of course we want it to turn out in the way we would like, but when it doesn’t, there are many other gifts available, gifts often far more meaningful than grabbing the brass ring. The real brass ring is the joy of the journey. Just ask Billy.

Book by this Author:

Are You As Happy As Your Dog?
by Alan Cohen.

book cover: Are You As Happy As Your Dog? by Alan Cohen.Have you ever wondered if your dog knows more about joyful living than you? I met a man who told me, "For years I was so miserable that I prayed to God daily to please let me wake up as happy as my dog!" I went home and observed by dog Munchie, who is happy all the time. Munchie is the most joyful creature I have ever seen. He lives in a state of continuous delight and discovery.

Info/Order this book.  Also available as a Kindle edition.

 

About The Author

photo: Alan CohenAlan Cohen is the author of many inspirational books including A Course in Miracles Made Easy and his new illuminating guide, The Master Keys of Healing. Become a certified holistic life coach through Alan’s life-changing training program beginning in September 2021. For information on this program and Alan’s books, videos, audios, online courses, retreats, and other inspirational events and materials, visit AlanCohen.com 


 

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Marie T. Russell's Daily Inspiration

INNERSELF VOICES

What Does Our Authority Rest Upon?
Transitioning from Authoritarian "Outer" Authority to Spiritual "Inner" Authority
by Pierre Pradervand
For thousands of years, ever since mankind started settling in cities, we evolved in rigid,…
The Birthing of A New World Which Is Struggling to be Born
The Birthing of A New World Which Is Struggling to be Born
by Ervin Laszlo
Talk of fundamental change in the world around us is often met with skepticism. Change in society,…
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
Win the Battle In Your Head: Perspective Matters
by Peter Ruppert
We all experience positive and negative self-talk on a regular basis. Whether you realize it or…
Horoscope Current Week: April 19 - 25, 2021
Horoscope Current Week: April 19 - 25, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
If You’ve Contracted COVID: Healing and Moving Forward
If You’ve Contracted COVID: Healing and Moving Forward
by Stacee L. Reicherzer PhD
If you’ve contracted COVID, you not only had health problems that may have been life-threatening,…
Awakening to the Dream of the Earth and Loving the World
Awakening to the Dream of the Earth and Loving the World
by Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.
The most important question is not how to survive biodiversity loss, climate disruption, ecological…
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career 
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career
by Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D.
Even if your tolerance of ambiguity is lower, there are proven ways to build this important…
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
How To Use Family Stories To Build Young People's Resilience
by Mary J. Cronin, Ph.D.
One approach that addresses the challenges families face today comes down to a familiar but often…

MOST READ

Is Your Bedroom Sacred?
Is Your Bedroom Sacred? Honoring Your Personal Sanctuary
by Jon Robertson
The bedroom is home to our prayers and dreams, our solitude and sexuality. In this inner sanctum,…
Age of Pisces to Age of Aquarius
Transitioning from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius
by Ray Grasse
The Age of Aries brought an awakening of the outwardly directed ego, but the more feminine Piscean…
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career 
4 Ways to Build Your Tolerance of Ambiguity—and Your Global Career
by Paula Caligiuri, Ph.D.
Even if your tolerance of ambiguity is lower, there are proven ways to build this important…
3 Ways Music Educators Can Help Students With Autism Develop Their Emotions
3 Ways Music Educators Can Help Students With Autism Develop Their Emotions
by Dawn R. Mitchell White, University of South Florida
Many children with autism struggle to find the words to express how they feel. But when it comes to…
Domestic Violence: Calls For Help Have Increased – But The Answers Haven't Gotten Any Easier
Domestic Violence: Calls For Help Have Increased – But The Answers Haven't Gotten Any Easier
by Tara N. Richards and Justin Nix, University of Nebraska Omaha
Experts expected the increase in domestic violence victims seeking help last year (2020). Victims…
At What Age Are People Usually Happiest? New Research Offers Surprising Clues
At What Age Are People Usually Happiest? New Research Offers Surprising Clues
by Clare Mehta, Emmanuel College
If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what would it be? Would you choose to be nine…
Viking DNA And The Pitfalls Of Genetic Ancestry Tests
Viking DNA and The Pitfalls of Genetic Ancestry Tests
by Anna Källén, Stockholm University and Daniel Strand, Uppsala University
According to recent estimates, over 26 million people from across the world have purchased a…
How Reactivating Traumatic Memories Could Reduce Their Impact
How Reactivating Traumatic Memories Could Reduce Their Impact
by Caitlin Clark, Texas AM
Researchers could be a step closer to finding a way to reduce the impact of traumatic memories,…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.