I was out walking this morning, it’s been raining A LOT (I know many of you will relate to that!) and the river is in flood. It’s a beautiful walk that I do most mornings. Today however, I couldn’t cross the bridge because of the raging water, so I picked my way through the mud on the less sunny side.
It got me to thinking about how in life we often have pivotal moments in life where we are presented with the choice of two paths. We may have absolutely envisaged ourselves over the bridge on the sunny side, but for whatever reason that is not the path we end up on:
Maybe someone else closed the bridge
Maybe the bridge was impassable despite our best efforts
Maybe we were just too damn scared ourselves to cross the bridge
The point is, there was a fork in the road and we took the other path. We took (whether by force of circumstance, someone else’s fuckery, or by our own hand) a different path.
We can look over to that sunny side of the river and think that’s where we “should” be. That’s what we planned for ourselves after all.
That career move
That health situation
But here is the thing, as I walked down the shady side this morning. I saw some twittering wild birds, said hello to an elderly lady with her even more elderly dog, and…oh…stop…pause, be still…I saw a little rabbit just munching on his breakfast not 3 metres away from me!
Just because things could have been different, doesn’t mean they would have been better.
That relationship really might not have ended up being all that down the road.
That career move you so wanted may not have led where you thought.
That house you set your heart on maybe there is a better one coming.
That town you thought wanted maybe there is something special in the adventure in your second choice you could never have anticipated
That health situation that is so awful when it’s so acute may lead you down a whole different life path with what you learn.
There is an amazing old proverb that says if we were to look at the total pile of someone else’s problems, on reflection, most of us would rather pick back up our pile of our own issues.
I think so too with our choices. Sometimes it takes a LOT of time and perspective (a lot of water under the bridge so to speak) to pass before we can see it, but very often when we look back, we would not swap back to our original path choice.
We can see with the clarity of hindsight that just because things could have been different, doesn’t mean they necessarily would have been better.
That now, we actually wouldn’t swap.
We are right where we are meant to be.
This thought gave me a lot of peace this morning as I walked along, so I hope it reaches whoever needs to hear it today.