I came upon a labyrinth in the woods.
I considered the labyrinth, and its goal at the center.
There are two ways to the goal:
- follow the path, trust it will get you there, or
- skip the intended process and jump to the center
Wondering what I would get out of trusting the process, I followed the path.
I worried that I was traveling in circles, when I observed an obstacle in my path. I had to duck to avoid hitting tree branches. I kept moving.
I saw myself moving towards the goal, and I was pleased. At one point, I was close enough to touch it, but I did not. I was traveling in a circle but felt momentum pulling me in. I knew I would get there.
Then I took a drastic turn and moved to the outside of the labyrinth. I was far from my goal, and I questioned why the path had diverted me. I was so focused on my anger over being as far from the goal as I was at the start that I neglected to see the tree branches ahead. But I had encountered this obstacle before, and I remembered to duck. But this time I had to be more flexible -- there were more branches than before, so I had to bend further and for longer. I could have stopped, abandoned the path. But I kept moving.
Upon exiting the tree branch obstacle, I found myself moving closer to the goal again. I felt a sense of calm -- not excitement. I was glad I had been challenged by another obstacle on my path. My commitment to the goal had been tested, my faith in the path had been tested. I knew I would succeed.
I came closer to the goal. I did not think about jumping the path to the goal. I did not even fixate on the goal getting closer. Instead I found myself thinking back on the path that I had traveled, and what I had learned along the way.
And, before I realized it, I had reached the goal. I looked around at the path that had gotten me here, and thanked it. I thanked myself for not abandoning the path.
And then I exited the labyrinth, ready to face the day.
Written June 26, 2011 at Bryn Mawr College