I once got married because even though my intuition said no, I was not strong enough to do what I was being told. In the journey that is my life, the shortest, most direct road through that area was designed to take a few months — long enough for me to discover this important part of my identity, integrate it, and ride on to the next big thing. But it was as if, when it came down to it, I didn’t have everything I needed to be who I was when I got to the other side. I wasn’t strong enough, secure enough, or well enough equipped to take my road.
Instead, I took an alternative route, a rather twisted one, that eventually deposited me to the exact same place where my road would have deposited me. The other road was much longer and far more dramatic. It was under construction the entire freaking time I was on it. And the other drivers on that road seemed to be at least a little off their main roads, too. And yet, this was the road considered the most “likely” or “promising” by most of society.
By the time I made it back to my road, I was stronger. I finally had everything I needed to be where I was, to continue on my way to a life that is true for me. But the other road is undeniably costly. In my case, there were years lost and hearts broken.
In hindsight, it’s tempting to think that taking the alternate route was a mistake, that if I’d been stronger, all of those hard (some might say bad) things wouldn’t have happened. But I resist that temptation for a few reasons. First, I know in my heart of hearts that I could not stay my course. I tried, really I did. Plain and simple, I didn’t have what I needed to get it done. Second, the alternate road gave me opportunities to live and heal and love (oh how I loved some of the companions on that road!) that were not available (nor were they necessary) on my road.
Because I was living fully awake during that part of my journey — giving my whole heart and folding every ounce of that experience into my being — it was everything it needed to be. That side trip transformed me, healing all of the old wounds that kept me from being able to live my truth. That spell of relative madness carried me home to myself. Although it was hard, and it cost me, anything that brings me home simply can’t be a “mistake.”
The tricky thing about these other road experiences, is that sometimes you can’t actually see that you’re not on your road until you start seeing signs that the road you’re on is ending, and you need to exit onto it to continue the journey.