Recently I returned from a long trip, coming home I felt a changed person. This was not a humanitarian trip or by any means meant to be a life- changing excursion, it was just me and my family away from the normal day to day. I am amazed at the perspective it brought to change my living circumstances and to have time to be in a different environment. In many ways our trip was a recharge, but in other ways it was a returning to self.
I didn't know I had ever left. Myself that is. Yet in the hustle and bustle of city life, of which I have become accustomed, I found that I had stopped smiling at strangers, saying "Hi" to neighbors, helping before someone asks (instead of avoidance).
While away I found that I can be patient and calm in the busiest of cities, and just because others around me aren't calm (Chicago) doesn't mean I need to forgo that virtue. I found that things that are "cool" are actually just really lame and immature, true happiness is not found in trends but in who we are becoming.
My husband made fun of me that I looked like Julia Roberts and was having an "Eat, Pray, Love" moment but the flowing skirt and wide brim hat aside, I did come away more in-touch with what matters. Returning home felt awkward, it felt like I had uncovered Chicago, like a celebrity on Diane Sawyer, there was nothing more to hide or put up with.
One of my favorite verses in the bible is one that deals with the prodigal son. It says "and then he came to himself", it doesn't say he was enlightened away from himself but seems to imply that true enlightenment is a returning to oneself, to something we already know deep within our souls. Part of this return to myself I believe encompasses people who matter in my life, bringing old friends back and seeing the value in staying true to our deepest self while expanding and moving forward.
The entire plan of our creation is to return to that God who sent us, and the ability to return rests solely on our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is only through the atonement of Jesus Christ that man and woman can return to God.
This idea of returning isn't new, I bet somewhere in your own soul you also feel and believe one day we will return to where we came from, or that we will return to those we have lost through death. Returning is a part of living, and we do it over and over and over again. The Lord tells us "Return unto me and I will return unto you" Malachi 3:7. It is in that process we are found.
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