You Are Here

Where ever you are, you are here.  (John Lennon)

Here.  It’s the point we use to measure our journey in terms of how far we’ve strayed from our intended path, how far we’ve come, and/or how far we’ve got to go to get to our destination.  We use it as a point on a mental yardstick that usually shows us coming up short.  We look around  at here and don’t like what we see.  We want to be somewhere else.  We want to be someone else or with someone else.

Even if we do reach our destination, we can find fault:  “I should have gotten here sooner.”  “Great, I’m finally here, but now I think I should have been going there.  Oh, and by the way, because I spent (wasted???) so much time getting here, I’m never going to get there.”

When you measure yourself against impossible standards, you miss the reassurance that You Are Here can provide.  You forget that the fact that being here means that you are alive, that where ever here is, there is still time to get there, still time to make different choices and live differently.  Ebeneezer Scrooge, in Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol reminds us that even if we’ve been a horrible excuse of a human being, as long as we’re still living and breathing, there’s time to change.  If you take stock of where you are and realize that you really have gone off course, that you let yourself spin out of control due to an addiction to food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping or whatever takes you away from creating the life you want to live, the fact that you are here means that you still have the opportunity to get back on track.  It may not be easy.  It may hurt like hell to face the pain you used addictive patterns to avoid, but if you let yourself be here now, if you let yourself feel the pain and release it into the past, you may find that the new path you wind up on takes you to a place more amazing than anything you every imagined.

You Are Here also reminds you to look back at your accomplishments — all of them  — not just you’re deficits.  To be here  means that you have made choices.  There was a reason you made those choices.  Maybe you are here and not there because you had children and poured your love and attention into them and didn’t much left over to follow your dreams. Or maybe you took care of aging parents and put your dreams on hold.  Maybe you are here because you spent the last year (or 5 years, or 15 years) healing from trauma and tragedies of the past or over coming an addiction.  It’s quite possible that you couldn’t have possibly gotten there without first doing this work.  Or maybe you are here because you spent your time in school and didn’t have time for anything else.  Whatever it was, you made choices and those choices were important.  They were significant.  Be gentle with yourself!  Celebrate the path you chose that got you here.  Remember, as long as You Are Here you can still follow those other paths you’ve dreamed about!

You Are Here reminds us that here is all there is.  When you stop using here as a yardstick and think of here as the place to be now, you’ll start to understand the truth of the ages.  The destination is the journey, not some place on the map.

About reginasewell

I am a counselor, psychodramatist, writer, healing practitioner and college professor. I have a monthly column, "InsightOut" in Outlook (, an essay, "Sliding Away" in "Knowing Pains" and a book out "We're Here! We're Here! We're Queer! Get Used to Us!" My goal, through my writing, counseling and teaching is to help people heal from the emotional wounds and limiting beliefs that keep them from living engaging and meaningful lives.
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