Picture yourself on a path. At the beginning. Looking ahead. You see paths headed off in different directions – lots of them, going lots of places.
You can see that some paths only take you so far and then end abruptly… dead-ends. They have flower-lined walk ways that draw you in, making it hard to walk away. You see the brick-wall in front of you, but you keep walking anyway.
Don’t do it, your friends caution. Amazing though, how we convince ourselves we don’t see what they're seeing.
You eventually get there. To that brick wall preventing you from continuing. As long as you’re walking, there’s absolutely no way around it. Eventually even you can’t pretend you have no where else to go.
So you turn around and go back where you came from.
It’s a different walk this time because at this point there are no flowers. You’re not distracted by temptation anymore, because finally… there is none.
Sometimes you’re lucky and it’s just an empty path. Sometimes your only frustration is knowing you could have avoided this unnecessary backtracking all together.
But sadly sometimes there is a lot of ugliness for you to walk through… holes to deal with. They can be filled back up, but its harder to get home when you have to fix what you broke before moving past it.
Some holes are harder to fix, and some won't be fixed completely. If they're big enough, they'll stay with us... change us a little bit. But it can always be a positive change if you let it. Use them to grow stronger, it will work.
Once you get back to ground zero, home base, square one - changed as you may be - just sit still for a minute. Glance back at the path – the whole thing, brick wall included and remember what it felt like, start to end. Commit to not walking down the same one again.
Not all paths are dead-ends, obviously. And not all paths take you to that final golden destination. But as long as you determine the path you’re on doesn’t take you on a long journey to nowhere, walk on. Enjoy never having to look back.
But do look back... every now and then.
Take paths that no one else is on. Take trips because at the end of it, more roads open up to you.
Let your friends be on their own paths. No matter how far apart your different walks take you, you can always walk together when you miss them.
Watch for red-flags and brick-walls on their paths, but you may have to let them reach those on their own. If that happens, which it will, stand on their sidelines and encourage them for their long walk back.
Keep track of where your friends are so you can get to them when they need you.
Walk with others too. Let certain people on your path from time to time, and maybe even for a long time.
But your path will always be yours.