If you could choose, what would you love to do?
If you could go where you really want to go, how soon would you leave?
From where you are right now, look around and also in that only-known-to-you place inside yourself, and tell me: Are you where you want to be? Are you doing what you want to do? Are you with the people you could not be without?
And if you say no, how far back do you have to go to find the roots of that no? Did you choose a no from the beginning because you told yourself you won’t follow any dreams, or you just stepped out into the world holding a dream like children hold kites, and it got all tangled up and then you dropped it because others said it’s too hard to untangle it and even if you do, the wind might not be there by the time you’re ready to go again…Did you go from making your own path – and not even thinking you’re making one after, because you were flying your colorful kite, and joy allowed you to go far and be strong because that’s what joy does – to being told you have to follow a path that’s already there? Whose path? Did you ask? Did it matter?
We follow paths that are there just because some people (or many) walked them before us. They called them the right ones, and we dare not say otherwise. The paths we follow feel the opposite at times; sharp disobedient thoughts sprout, carrying all those gut feelings that may not agree with the beaten path. They poke through and scare us to a halt. Don’t walk here, there is nothing here. The sides are bare, better go back to your own…They urge us to stop, to look around, to be honest.
Stop? Now? Stubborn thoughts grow like thick trees with many branches we don’t know how to climb and don’t dare believe we can learn. So we cut them down and tie them with thick silent ribbons. There. Then we keep going. Silly thoughts, trying to make you stray…But what if the thoughts are right? What if? Ah, just cold flutters that try to stop you, they happen, people say. They happen to everyone, they say… Keep going.
But is everyone happy then? Yes, no. It’s hard to see the truth in mirrors that copy each other. Which one reflects the truth, there are so many… Ah, just pick one. Is it a game? Hide-and-seek? Yes, with yourself, the silly thoughts point out. Hush again, let me look in that mirror. And you see what you’re told you have to see.
Because when you want to see things a certain way, you tilt your head until they look like that. You might be upside down and hurting, but you keep at it because everyone else does it. Or so it seems. You look at it and say yes, it is like that, and pretend to not know the truth. But you see, even blind people who’ve never seen faces in their lives, they can “see” faces. They feel them with their fingers and know what the face looks like. They trust their fingers to see for them. Even if you’ve never seen the path, your real one, you’ll know what it looks if you dare let the fingers of your soul “see” it for you.
But to dare… We follow paths that don’t hug our soul. Instead of soothing our fears with the joy they allow us to have along the way, they feed it and make it into a wild mean beast we drag along; one that we try to run away from but pretend to be too slow to do it, and we let ourselves be bitten by it once more…Until one day when the wild beast bites too deep, or too soon after the old wound barely closed and then the pain makes you stop. If you take the time to be mad at the wild thing that’s biting your hands, and if you take the time to care for your wounds, then you might just have time to look around.
You don’t quite know where you are, you’ve come a long way. Why are you there? Is there another way? Better, harder but truer? Is there a how to? Where does one start? The beast you dragged along, you let it go. The many knots that tie your fear to your soul, you dare to hold them up and peek at their inelegant mess; most scary. Where to from here? Sigh,cry, stomp your feet, but no more knots please. You hold them up and the sun peeks at your soul right through them. Warmth feels right. Now you know how messy the knots are, but you also know that sun can kiss your soul through that mesh of fear. Rain could get it soft and manageable until the knots fall off. You know that.
Then you walk around. Light and brave, you go off the path, into a place where you’ve never been before. And if you give yourself enough time to smell the air, and enough courage to listen to that part of you that speaks the only language for which you do not need a dictionary, you might just remember the truth of the journey you started a long time ago…
The journey that started with a dream. Or many. You dreamed of where you’d go if one day you could, you dreamed of what you’d be doing if one day you could, you had joy and you knew that it would be worth it. You were ready to cut your own path and make your own music and you didn’t care that you did not know how to or that it might get tough. That was part of it. You were ready. But then someone said that’s crazy, what a waste of time. Take this path, they said, no need to build wings when you can walk. So you took the path.
But if you did, was it the right one? Right and wrong are but rigid measuring sticks, you say. The question is: Does it feed your soul? Where you are now, what you do, the starting of each day? Does it? Is the path you’re on the one you’d choose if you could choose all over again?
If you could choose where to be, would you be where you are now?
If you could choose, what would you choose? Would you really?