As we move along our paths in this thing called life, we may feel the need to prepare our own road-maps to use as our navigation through this world. We create this map, because in doing this, we can place in it anything we want. We believe that by doing so, things will automatically go as we had planned, in the exact directions that we program ourselves to be going. We spend our time designing our journey, as we are sometimes conditioned to believe that it is always within our own control to decide our next steps. We find our comfort in this control, because it provides us with a sense of familiar predictability about our life’s trajectory. Keeping in mind, however, that our journey is very different than our destination.
We have our goals, wants and desires. We all seek to find happiness, peace and love, success and a vision to all the things we intend to fulfill in our lives. All of these things are the destination. What I had not realized is that our journey in reaching these things, are not always according to our plan, or the road-map that we envisioned. In fact, not only is the journey not always according to our plan, but that within our grip of trying to control it, or resist the turns that are given to us, is the very same thing that leads us to feel the most out of control and lost.
There seems to be those times that the road-map we had so carefully created, has now become filled with unexpected turns and detours. However, a lesson to be learned that it is within those times of detour, that we are actually being lead. Although not wanted, not expected and even painful to endeavor at times, we eventually surrender to the resistance. It is within this allowing of ourselves to take the turns presented before us, that we know they are actually guiding us to something perhaps more valuable, then the direction we anticipated taking on our own.
This awareness presented itself to me, through the clarity of messy roads, used in the literal sense. I cite a journal entry from January 6, 2020, in which this became clear to me through the eyes of detours presenting themselves on my drive home through a snowstorm.
“I feel the presence all around me as it lead me through all of my messy situations. As I was leading myself, I felt the fear and witnessed this. I know that it is within the grip of my control, that this fear had always been fueled. I placed my faith on things I thought I knew, rather than allowing my grip to loosen in a way that gave me faith in believing outside of the logic I had held onto. I am presented with no choice but to loosen my grip, as I now know that if not willingly done so, life will leave me no choice. I sit in the discomfort as I witness the unfolding of this before me.
Driving through the dark, messy, slippery road, I am given a choice. I can resist and hold on tighter. Although, in doing so, causes my grip on the wheel to become shaky, unstable and losing control even further. For a moment in time, I do just that. I clench my fists. I shake and feel my heartbeat rise. The road is dark, untouched snow, unable to see the path ahead. I desperately search for another way out. I instantly feel reaction brew within me, as my instincts tell me to retreat and resist. This is not what I wanted, or expected and wanted to feel the comfort of having an easier way out.
I catch myself in this moment. I realize this and choose different. I take hold of the wheel with ease (my thoughts) and I sink my body into relaxing back in my seat (quieting my mind). I keep my mind open to receive guidance (the headlights shining ahead) and I follow that light for the next ten feet, and then the next ten after that. I allow the discomfort, but I also know that I am well and I am safe, in this very moment of time.
Along my way, I see someone injured. I stop and offer my assistance. They are being taken care of, but I knew as soon as I placed my eyes upon their shaken forms in the snow, that they allowed the fear to set in. I see what could have happened. I understand the grip they had insisted on holding onto. They did not allow the ease and surrender to the situation set in, so instead, they were driven off their tracks.
I continue on and up ahead there are roadblocks set up. I see flashing lights all around. I am stopped by the lights and told that I can no longer travel this way. I am sent on a detour because the road ahead was filled with other fearful events that took place in the midst of the unexpected messy roads. The road I thought would take me home, was now no longer available for me. I was diverted, detoured, rerouted another unplanned way. However, the way I was told I needed to take, was unfamiliar to me. I had not gone this way before, and now I am being told that it is the only way home. The roads were still dark, lonely and untouched. My road-map did not show me this way. Yet, I had no choice as this choice was made for me by something bigger outside of myself.
I detoured. I did so cautiously at first, But I chose to trust this way, as I believed in what I was told and that it would lead me home. Although not familiar, although not what I wanted or expected, and although I felt lost, misplaced and wanted to feel the comfort in doing it my familiar and planned way, I continued on as a I made my way back to familiar ground.
Once I could see my own landmarks, I felt the most upmost appreciation. For all that seemed to be a long and treacherous journey, didn’t see so long after all. I made my way home, and as soon as I did so, the snow outside had cleared.
Even though there are conditions placed before us that make it seem like things are too difficult, or those moments when unexpected turns make us feel fear and discomfort - the moments when we want to react, resist or even give up, these are the times that we are growing, expanding and evolving into a different version of ourselves. For all the times that I am unexpectedly rerouted, needing to deviate from the set plan I was convinced was the only way that could get me to where I want to be, this I will remember. I surrender to this. I allow myself to feel the peace and ease in knowing that I do not always have to know how I will get there. I just trust that I will.”