Have you ever wondered in the midst of life’s whirlwind of To Do Lists and planned scheduled events…what about me? Have you ever looked around in a daze, startled by the daily routine even though nothing appears new, but your senses are over-powered and over-run by what seems endless and worthless? Have you ever felt stopped in your tracks, wanting less rather than more or better rather than what is now? I worry about my tunnel-vision, which may be a reflection of narrow-mindedness. Is what I see, how I appear and what I resemble—all there is of me?
I took a “road less traveled”. I couldn’t do it alone. I took unimagined steps with a willingness to seek my spirituality. I used a two-hour appointment weekly. I attained a trusted acquaintance outside, my family, friends and coworkers, with whom I engaged in something I would have never done on my own. It was not love or familiarity or comfort that fueled my exploration. It was a yearning and an acquaintance – who asked very few questions – which kept me going. As I reflect back, oh how stupid I felt along the way I did nothing different from what I did as a younger person, except this time I shared my story with a basic stranger. As a young person, I forged ahead, blazed trails and followed behind many mentors to realize a value system for which I live. This time as an adult, I shared my experiences in the present. I didn’t linger in the past. On a few odd occasions, I contacted him in real-time. I needed to have a witness because however life was going along, I felt like I was living in the realm of the impossible.
I took a “road less traveled”. I paid for support. This may sound trivial or assumed in any pursuit, but what I learned is “money matters”. Many people consider getting support or help or stating their desire for change, but they are not willing to pay money for their desire. It is the facet of seeking and paying money or not paying money which changes the priority of seeking support. In the acceptance of seeking, there needs to be an agreement of payment. Money provides a commonly known, seamlessly harmless method, to gain support. I paid for help. Now, as a clinician, I am growing more aware of groups of people who talk a great talk, but when the conversation includes a rate schedule, a quiet exit strategy is engaged. People are very likely to look for help or follow a recommendation. In their initial contact for help, they will provide the material they think the clinician might need to help them. In my experience, often commonly the initial contact will not include any information about how the services will be paid for, until I bring up the subject. I find this odd.
I took a “road less traveled”. No matter how many words I spoke and how many words I wrote, full understanding was never achieved by just me spouting my thoughts. I came to realize that my common sense became naturally dulled by my skillful manner of organizing each day and protecting myself from deep-seated pain. I got trapped in my routine and habits. This allowed me to travel through each day nearly senseless–living life forgetfully. I couldn’t tell you what I saw, ate, touched, heard or smelled. I had a home, a family, friends and coworkers. I had a long-term career in which I traveled. I was very well-known at my children’s schools and was one who volunteered regularly. My mantra was “call me if you need me—we can work it out”. I thought my life was full because of the busyness which I believed was fulfillment.
I took a “road less traveled”. One day driving down the main street toward home, I heard from within me one word: “spirituality”. I felt elated. I laughed as a silly child. That was it! I knew I had discovered the missing piece that bridged me to the rest of my life. I realize this may sounds trivial, ridiculous and impractical to many, but the important part is, I told my acquaintance what happened. I’m not sure why. I admitted I had this unexplainable experience. Even though I felt foolish, I did not attempt to rationalize, justify or logically expound on what happened. After a slight pause, he said nothing to rationalize, justify or logically expound on my experience. From that minute forward, every cent I paid to share and every cent of what I received was gold from this life exchanged. This is a crossroads for which I am grateful. This crossroads turned me onto a road that I still have a difficult time talking about directly. It feels senseless to me and I assume pointless to many to talk about it. This “road less traveled” has brought back all my senses, which I attempt to use to bear witness daily for other people.
This “road less traveled” began as I neared 50 years old. I had made it into a maturity of normalcy and appropriate avoidance of expecting too much out of life or out of me either. I realized, as I stated previously, I had come to a personal place where the whirlwind of life was less life and more lists and schedules.
Routine and habits work. This is why they are repeated. The discovery and continuation of balance over time is not a onetime shot. It is a learning process which occurs through interwoven insight which takes courage to not look at, but instead peer at through a lens of opportunity and growth. This process includes additional information generally that sharpens the senses – not dull them. Human beings have five senses. As some people say, human beings also have a sixth sense. It is the commonly known sixth sense where spirituality lives–imagination, intuition, inspiration, illumination, and insight — that can have the greatest impact in forging and balancing life if we let them.
What I found is that these intangible items unlocked my vigor and vitality after I shared them once. I took a “road less traveled”. I invite you to take it too.
“Deadlines can truly be dead.” Sandra L. Hammond