We’ve all been there, standing at the proverbial crossroads of life. Trying to decide which fork to take, which path to follow. We ponder the paths set before us and try to choose our best option. We may make pro and con lists, meditate about the road ahead or just flip a coin before proceeding. We check our life maps and inner GPS and choose, believing that this fork, this path, is the one we need to take. Fueled with conviction we move forward, full speed ahead in our shiny spiritual sports cars.
Then a mile or two down the road things start to feel wrong. There are more potholes than we thought and our spines are aching from being jostled up and down. The scenery is bland, boring, showing us nothing of note. The path keeps winding through some of the worst neighborhoods and questionable places that we really did not ever want to visit. The rest stops we thought were along the way never materialize and we find ourselves exhausted from the journey. Yet we feel we the need to press on, worried that quitting will show a decided lack of conviction. We are second guessing our decision but feel it would be worse to turn around, go back, rather than admitting that we have made a mistake. No one wants to make a mistake, right?
In this world it seems that we are constantly being programmed to not fall back, to instead move ahead no matter what the cost. This world wants winners, not losers, they tell us. Because of this we often hesitate to stop doing something that is causing us pain for no other reason than we’ve “committed” to the path and don’t want to look like a quitter. We don’t want to be viewed as flawed, not made of the “right stuff”. So we keep moving, the strain showing on our faces and in our bodies. Our health can fail and our personal lives falter all because we are “motoring on”, moving forward because we feel it’s expected of us. But is admitting we made a wrong turn so horrible? Is going back and starting on a new path really such a bad thing? Why should it be such a stigma to say “I failed”?
I feel that going back and starting over shows not a lack, but a great deal of character. When we acknowledge that something doesn’t fit, that it is perhaps even harming us in some way and we stop doing that thing, then we our honoring our true self. By terminating a journey that isn’t right for us, we are showing that we care enough about ourselves to stop anything that does our body or our souls damage. I don’t care what it is. If it is making you sick, upset, frightened, uneasy, despondent or angry, stop doing it immediately. We are not quitting, we are merely changing course. Take that world!!
Changing our course as is what is best for us but I do admit that sometimes this is not an easy thing to do. It may also seem downright impossible. For example, you may have a job that is making you feel ill all the time, but financially you can’t just quit. However, you can start on a new path by sprucing up your resume, checking out the local job listings and start filling out those applications. Your career vehicle may stay the same but you’ve chosen a new road to travel on.
If you find that your chosen spiritual path no longer feeds your soul but instead saps your energy, it’s time to get off that road. Take a moment to check your inner GPS and find a path that speaks to you. Our spirits are always growing and evolving so what may have been a trail through a meadow yesterday may become a muddy swamp tomorrow. Keep moving, (even if it’s backwards), hitch up the hip waders and muck through it to the other side. A new road will present itself if we keep our hearts and minds open to the possibilities. Isn’t that what a crossroads represents, possibilities?
Our success cannot be measured by what others envision for us. We need to choose the view, the scenery that will engage us, keep us on the path. Yes, there may be a roadblock to traverse around, a swollen stream to be crossed or a slippery incline or two, but as long as we keep seeing something up ahead that intrigues and excites us, we know that a few setbacks will not keep us from traveling to where we need to be. This life, this journey, is of your choosing. Don’t pay attention to the roadside billboards that try and tell you otherwise.
The next time you find yourself at a crossroads and are worried which path to take, don’t. Yes it could be a wrong turn, but there is always another path, another crossroads up ahead where the next road you choose may lead you exactly where you need to be.