The Labyrinth of Our Heart

(Note: Below is a post I wrote a while back, though never published. Still, sometimes our unpublished thoughts are still worth sharing, and this post is no exception.  It is the essence of what walking the ‘Heart Path’ is all about, the values by which I live my own journey and the vantage point from which this blog is written.)

Robert Frost once wrote,

 “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…Two roads diverged…, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

The poem came to mind this evening as I broke from routine and the predictable route of my evening walk, and in doing so, encountered the unexpected joy of running into a friend – a fellow Rotarian, who also happens to be our local priest.  As we walked and talked together, I found myself delighting in the discovery of new and heretofore unknown paths as well as a labyrinth he showed me, hidden among the trees at one of my favorite hang-outs, our local college.  He knew I would appreciate the beauty of this spot on a deeper, more spiritual level, and shared with me his own routine of reflectively walking to the center of the labyrinth…the figurative center of our heart.

As we continued our walk, we quickly found ourselves shifting from the casual talk of life and community, to recent decisions in my life.  We touched on the topic of servant leadership, then ultimately to the subject of God, surrender, and the wondrous joy (filled with the predictive ups and downs of life) that inevitably awaits us when we are finally willing to give up our illusions of control and give in to the mystery of Life.  As we parted ways and I headed home, I reflected on my own journey to this place of surrender over these past few years…the signposts along the way, the tests and trials, and ultimately, to the deep peace and joy that now fills my spirit.

On this journey to surrender, sometimes our heart and soul cry out in anguish, guilt or remorse – to be free from the pain and prisons of our own heart and mind, often of our own making. Sometimes, the heart and soul cries out in defiant anger, driven by a need for justice for wrongs that can’t be undone or for losses we cannot reclaim.

Sometimes, however, the heart and soul’s cry is about something different altogether…

Not a rallying cry out, so much as a calling within…to be (re)united with our purpose for being; to align our heart and soul and mind in such a way that we can better serve and love those we journey with, and in doing so, discover and live our own joy.  Increasingly, as I walk around the circles of my own life, each step leading me closer to the center of my heart, I find my joy increasing, and with it, the possibility for peace and love, too.  Every step taken in faith is met with deep gratitude for all that has come before and all that is still yet to be.

Just as in Frost’s poem above, I have chosen to take the road less traveled by…no longer the road of safety and convention, nor the road of self worth defined by external measures of success; but rather, I have chosen the path that leads us within, not without; the road of Faith and surrender; and the larger voyage that asks not how the world can serve me, but how I may best serve the world and those others I journey with.

I have chosen the heart path.

And already,

it has made all of the difference…

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