Sometimes the “right path” in life is easy to recognize: It’s the path of ease, filled with proverbial sunshine and roses. It’s the path where each step unfolds effortlessly with the next, as if a red carpet is being rolled out for you. On this path of ease, each choice that you’re faced with includes a “Hell, yes!” option that’s the incredibly obvious one to choose.
That’s the way we like things to be – easy and obvious.
And that’s how our paths unfold – one (hopefully easy and obvious) choice at a time.
But sometimes the “right” path – the one that serves our highest and best good – isn’t so easy to find or navigate. It’s filled with potholes and boulders, and it seems as those the brambles growing on the roadside are threatening to take over.
Speaking less metaphorically, the right next step on your path doesn’t always feel like a “Hell, yes!” choice. Sometimes your initial gut reaction is more like “Heck, no.” Or you say “Yes,” but in every moment you’re waiting to find out you took the wrong fork in the road. Have you ever experienced that? Have you had a situation that you can now see in hindsight was an awesome opportunity, but at the time you had almost talked yourself out of it?
One of my favorite stories about this from my own life is a friendship that we could say almost didn’t happen. My friend Kelley is one of my closest, dearest friends. We “get” each other like no one else, and even though we’re currently a whole country apart and often too busy to call or email, we always hold a strong connection. So strong, in fact, that whenever one of us is struggling or upset, the other one “just happens to call.”
For half a year, Kelley also worked for me, which was AWESOME! and only ended because she moved three time zones away. But during that time, and in less formal capacity since, we have supported and uplifted each other, spurring each other along our spiritual paths as well as our business paths. We’ve been healers, confidants, and cheerleaders for each other.
But Kelley and I were far from instant “besties.” In fact, Kelley couldn’t stand me when she first met me. We attended the same Angel Encounter Workshop (which in hindsight should have been a big clue) and I was apparently, to paraphrase her telling of it, “the obnoxious woman in the back who kept picking fights with the instructor.” (I didn’t like how he kept bashing Reiki; in my mind, he was the instigator.)
In that one-day workshop I was, to Kelley, an annoying person who didn’t know her place, and she would be happy to never see each other again.
We laugh about all of this now. As the fate we’d agreed to would have it, we ended up together in a small-group program that met weekly for twelve weeks. She is such a wonderful person that she gave herself a chance to get to know me better, and I…well, I had no knowledge of any issues until she told me years later, so I just kept being myself and let her get to know me.
Kelley has become, ironically, one of the few people that I completely trust to always love me unconditionally, and I’m pretty sure she trust that I will always do the same. (It’s a safe bet for her to make.)
What’s the lesson here? First impressions of a person, situation, or opportunity aren’t always the best. Sometimes that opportunity is so important that it’s scary, and so we find any reason possible, even a petty one, to turn the opportunity down. Because staying small and safe often sounds a lot better than daring to expand, evolve, and become who we were meant to be – whether that’s a healer, a teacher, a rock star, or an awesome friend.
If the path in front of you looks like it’s full of potholes and brambles, look again.
If you feel like your gut is answering “Heck, no” when you ask “Should I?”, listen again.
What are you looking and listening for? If your mind is full of objections that have to do with external factors, such as money, time, or other people, then it could be that you’re the one creating those obstacles in the first place. In that case, it’s not really your intuition but your fears that you’re listening to.
If you put some time and space between you and your choice – if you get out of your head – the right path will become clear.
What life-changing, positive opportunity did you once almost talk yourself out of? Tell the story – I love happy endings!