Unexpected Turns

This morning I was on my way to pick up my gym buddy, and found that all the streets into her neighborhood were blocked or rerouted because of a marathon that was taking place in the area.

I drove up and down the streets looking for a way in, but didn’t find one. My initial reaction was to feel annoyed at the inconvenience. 

And then I began to reflect on other detours I’ve experienced in life.

Major Detours

Some detours are unintended, even unwelcome. While other detours are acceptable and willingly taken.

Unintended and unwelcome detours are usually life events that spin us around and disorient us from our perceived sense of Self and direction. Events like the loss of life and limb, or the loss of love and security, have that effect on us. Often these detours are sudden, and come without warning. But even if they slowly creep up on us in plain sight, the major change is usually unacceptable.

On the other hand, detours that are acceptable and gladly taken are those life events that strengthen our sense of Self and wellbeing. Events like a promotion at work, the decision to start a family, or any personal milestone or benchmark. These are the detours we accept.

The common denominator in all detours (unwelcome and welcomed), is change. Our capacity to successfully take detours is proportionate to our capacity to adapt to change.

Adapt or Die

How can we increase in our capacity to adapt and to change? 

In two ways.

First, we must strengthen and align our sense of Self and wellbeing to the greater Truth of who we are and our place in the Universe. When we are firmly rooted and anchored in the knowledge of who we really are and where we belong, we become unshakeable. This keeps us pointed to “True North”, and prevents us from getting disoriented by detours.

Second, we must become comfortable with uncertainty. Detours and change are often coupled with uncertainty. Being comfortable in uncertainty is like pedaling a bike. A bike stays upright and moving forward because we pedal. If we stop pedaling, we lose forward momentum, and eventually topple over. Similarly, being comfortable in uncertainty keeps us moving forward and prevents us from toppling over during detours. Also, the more comfortable we are with the unknown, the better we are able to remain still and find our bearings.

When we are masters of change, fluid and flowing like water, then all detours become advantageous. All detours put us in the right place. And instead of Life happening TO us, Life happens FOR us.


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