Taking the Right Path?
Taking the Right Path?
I have always had a love of forests. Now, you won’t catch me skipping along a path in a red hood or hugging trees, but there is something that draws me in and gives me peace. As I travel, I love to find hiking trails, to escape the concrete streets and seek less walked dirt paths. These paths have also entered my home though framed paintings and photographs. I think what draws me to these paths of solitude is the point of decision that comes at the fork in the road. That resolute decision that has to be made to continue on the journey to go left or right.
A Fork in the Road or Being Forked by Life
The visualization of a fork in the road perfectly symbolizes a couple coming to that decision point of breakup or divorce. I’m sure this brings to mind some distinct visualizations of key changes in relationships in your life.
Did I wake up one day at that junction or was it a process? It would depend on when you asked me. I think for a long time I lived in denial. I knew something was wrong in my marriage but I had no idea how to confront or deal with it. Blindness was more comfortable than sight or the reality that my perfect home was coming to an end. When I found out, what I found out is not really important. It happened. What is more important is the decision to take the step and say no more and choose a new path. This makes it sound as if I had control over my journey, which was definitely not the case.
But at a point I did make the decision to take care of myself, my own happiness and well being, and those that I could around me.
What is interesting in my situation is that this was not the first time I had journeyed this path and met the same fork. It was another affair, a different person, and a decade later. The first time I felt the peace and patience to wait and eventually work through it. Even with hindsight, no regrets. But this time, I went left and moved on, which was right.
Are you lost in the woods right now?
Can’t see the trees for the forest? If a tree falls in the woods does it make a noise? Does a bear shit in the woods?… All important life changing questions… but the truth I have found is as follows –
- First find your way back to the path. There is a reason it’s called a path. It is a clearing through difficult or impossible terrain. You can slog through the undergrowth, slashing at tangling vines, but a path is a narrow and clear opening that aids your progress forward. So be still for a moment. Quit fighting. Breathe survey your surroundings and get back on track. Need a little help or direction? Drop us a note or call one of our coaches.
- It is necessary sometimes to tread water, but eventually you will drown. You have to start swimming to shore. Same in the woods. You’ll eventually starve or be eaten by a bear. (and not the Winnie the Pooh variety.) This is decision time. Pick a path. Start walking. On that journey you will have a chance for course correction. You will meet other “forks,” but you have to start on the process. As an example, I am often asked what to so when someone has found out a partner is being unfaithful. The simple answer is to start a process. Your partner has already chosen a path, and it is different from yours. Now let me make one thing straight. I am pro-marriage and anti-divorce. If anything can be done to save yours, do it. The alternate path is a very long and difficult journey. However, if you find yourself at that junction, you need to start to review the options of the new path and understand your rights and choices. This is where I suggest meeting a legal professional. Not one on a billboard wielding a hammer. Do you research and find a family legal specialist and understand the upcoming options and process. That hour, although expensive, can save in the long run, like having a map to more paths in the forest.
- If a snake crosses your path don’t pick it up, or a bear cave might look cozy and warm in a rainstorm, but there still a bear living in it. Watch your relationships on your journey. New paths mean new relationships and not all are friendly or will positively affect your journey. Visualize the wolf in granny’s nightgown and be aware of your surroundings and avoid negative people and situations.
If you are standing at the crossroads right now, and all paths seem very dark, full of thorns and scary. Start simple and ask yourself these two simple questions to help you on the right path-
- Will your path hurt someone else? You know the “right” thing to do. Move forward positively never in revenge or anger.
- Will you grow personally? Are you growing on this path and moving towards your life goals or further away? Some paths might take the long way around the mountain but they are still moving in the right direction.
With the love of paths, trees and some hugs
P.S. Drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.P.S. If you have not met him, you need to. A lifelong friend and fellow IMO traveler brings a very different and positive outlook on moving on as Mr. Trout. Follow his new life adventures after 20 years of marriage as he swims upstream.
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