I am at a new kind of crossroad. Not the kind that asks me to choose between living someone else’s dream or my own, to end a marriage or remain. External constraints broken, I am at a different fork in the road, faced with a different set of questions arising from that same familiar voice deep inside. A voice that asks me to continue to listen to my heart (or not); that beckons me to follow new horizons (or play it safe). It is the voice that calls me to action – to hone my strengths and move out of my comfort zone, to courageously lead instead of follow, to do the hard work of creating a vision for my self, my family, and my community, and to implement the plan. It is the crossroad in which I can choose the predictive routine of a steady treadmill or running on an open, but uncertain road… without holding back and without looking back. Not choosing is a decision, too, but I am reminded that wheels spinning quickly going nowhere tend to wear out fast.I have been in holding pattern of late…treading water while I catch my breath, tune into my heart and figure out how I will navigate the vast array of choices before me on this journey I am on. It is a time when I am decidedly more solid about who I am and what I stand for, yet more uncertain than ever about where these personal truths will lead me.
So I have made a commitment to follow that voice once again – searching, seeking, dreaming, envisioning, planning, creating and executing. I am writing and reading with a voracious appetite. I am making new connections and seeking opportunities to stretch myself, both personally and professionally. I am giving myself permission to think outside the box and to kill my excuses, once and for all. I am learning that the best opportunities to learn and lead start with those closest to home – with ourselves and our family, with our community and our colleagues. What we seek is not so much ‘out there’ as it is within. I am reminded, too, that our journeys need not be compared to others’. Our talents, our dreams, our passions, our feelings…they are ours alone to honor, for who we essentially are will always be enough.
Today I am smiling. It is a day in which my colleague and friend, after months of struggle to define his own voice and measure his own value, made a decision. He made an external decision about his career, but more importantly, he made a decision within. After all of the fact-finding and number crunching; after all of the advice and competing callings, he tuned out the noise and tuned into his heart. And from that place, he reinvested himself not only in his career, but in his personal vision for his future and that of his family as well.
This is what journeys and crossroads are all about. They are about seeking and honoring our personal truths and committing ourselves to developing the very best in ourselves, and in others, too. From that place, the choices become clearer and the only question worth asking that remains is “does the path before me have a heart?” If no, then the path will lead nowhere worth going. If yes, then you have found your true north.