October 14     

Today's quotation:

Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction.  If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that one as well.

Maya Angelou

Today's Meditation:

I love the metaphor of roads that we travel during our lives.  It seems to be an appropriate one, and it allows us to see our roads as beautiful country lanes lined with trees and flowers with birds singing all around. . . .  Yes, it's an ideal, but visualizing such an ideal can be extremely important to us as we make our ways through life.

I think that the metaphor also helps us when we become stuck on a certain path in life.  When things aren't going well or we're feeling bad or things just simply aren't falling into place any more, perhaps what we need to do is to step onto another road that isn't filled with obstacles that we find we're not able to overcome.  Perhaps rain has washed away the road, perhaps thieves are lurking in the forest ahead of us, perhaps the road is rocky and uneven and threatening.  Or maybe you look ahead and realize that this road isn't taking you where you thought it was taking you.  Either way, the best thing for us may be to take a detour or to change roads completely.

But roads become comfortable to us, so as Maya says, sometimes we need to gather our resolve-- it won't be an easy thing to leave this road, because we really like some of the people on it, or we like the views, or we're just afraid of what might await us on the other road.  What if the other road is worse? we ask ourselves.  And the answer is that we'll never know until we get on it.

Some roads that we get on will have no heart, and it's important that we realize that and get off them as soon as we can.  If possible, we may be able to fix up that road and stay on it, but there's no shame in leaving a road to avoid the damage it may cause us.  Just as I wouldn't drive my car on a road filled with deep ruts and huge rocks, I shouldn't subject my self to a road that's going to cause me harm.

Questions to consider:

What have been some of your favorite paths or roads in your life?

How many times have you changed roads because the road you were on wasn't taking you where you wanted to go?

Is the road that you're on right now a road that's filled with heart?

For further thought:

Any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you. . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately.  Try it as many times as you think necessary.  Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. . . . Does this path have a heart?  If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.

Carlos Castaneda

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