Leave No Path Untaken, May You Always Do What You Are Afraid To Do

_Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken_ Neil GaimanIt is easy to run away from our problems.  Fear is hard to face, hard to shrink, hard to work through.  Facing whatever is in front of us in life, is never easy.  But doing so is building a muscle.  The more we do it, the stronger we get.  It not only makes us stronger, but we gain confidence that we can use in every area of our life. 

We’ll inevitably face challenges in life.  The best defense is believing that we are strong, we will survive, and we will be better for it. 

  – Lori Desehene

Each time a storm comes into your life, it is a chance to transform your life.  Whether you choose it or you fight it, some part of you will change.  The change can be beneficial giving you strength, determination, self confidence.  It can bring you emotions of joy, happiness, and an expanded heart.  OR, you can fight the change, become defeated, bitter, a victim of life.  It can bring emotions of anger, grief, injustice, and hatred.  It all depends on the path you choose to walk down. 

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, with a short window of time before she would die from it.  The last 6 weeks I took care of her.  I have five sisters and one brother, and I am the oldest.  During that six weeks it was such an example of what I am talking about here.  Some family members were there every day, others came only once or twice.  We had a service afterwards at her church.  Some family members came and some didn’t.  That summer we had a family ceremony with all of her brothers and sisters and their families where we spread her ashes, and again some of my siblings came and some didn’t.  What I heard was how they couldn’t handle it – what I knew for myself is that even though it was the hardest thing I ever did, it was also the greatest blessing, and some of my siblings missed out on that blessing.

The truth is that, given enough time, life bestows its gifts, a drop at a time, if we can find the courage to stay open to that mysterious flow that is larger than any event.

  – Mark Nepo

All of us, put a smile on our face each morning.  The stresses of getting the kids to school on time, breakfast made, going to work on time starts our days.  The car gets a flat tire, or makes a horrible noise and stops at a light and won’t restart.  Our boss reprimands us for something at work.  Your teenager swears at you and slams their bedroom door.  We get that phone call that our mom or dad is being admitted to the hospital with a heart attack.  The list could go on and on.  Each day, every week, every month, we have something that happens that stresses us out and makes us wish life was easier.  But we paste that smile on our face, and if asked we say that everything is fine.  We live a life on social media that only portrays the wonderful things in our lives, because we have been taught that we don’t “air our dirty laundry”.  We think we have to pretend that we live a perfect life, because we think that everyone else does.

Let’s stop pretending things are ok when they are not, so we can pray for each other and know we’re not the only one who struggles.

  – Renee Swope

Sometimes when our life is not happy, we need to share that with a best friend.  We need to talk about it, because someone else is either going through the same thing, or has gone through the same thing.  Sometimes we just need a hug and a reminder, that while today is not the best day, there will be better days.  That what seems to be catastrophic and unending, is just a story we are making up about it to help relieve the stress and tension.  Sometimes the bad things that are happening are waking us up to other choices in our life.  Sometimes the bad things cause us to take out life’s road map and choose another way to our destination.  Sometimes that change is the best thing that ever happened to us. 

Courage is facing a short-term discomfort to gain a long-term peace.

  – Lynne Namka 

Have you ever had something happened that seemed like the worst thing, but when you look back on it, you realize that it redirected you to where you were actually trying to go?  Years ago, I took a new job, that ended up being short term.  When I was laid off, the mortgage market in Southern California had a small crash and I couldn’t find a job anywhere.  We moved in with my mom temporarily and ended up moving out of state to find a new job.  I had ruined my credit because of the long term unemployment.  It seemed like the worse decision I had ever made in taking that job that laid me off after only 4 months.  A bad decision that put my family at risk.  But in hind sight, the job I got laid off from, had given me a new skill, which turned out to be just what I needed to land the underwriting job that had been my goal for several years.  It looked like the wrong path, but was despite the rejection and pain, the perfect path.

We just need to believe in ourselves.  We are all made in God’s image, which means that no obstacle, no mountain, no immense body of water – nothing can stop us, except ourselves.  While we may sometimes feel that life is unfair, too painful, not worth it – the truth is that life is full of people just like us, trying to overcome each new obstacle.

Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles and you have to change it.

  –  Jamie Lee Curtis

So leave no path untaken.  Every single one has something wonderful hidden within it. 

Success is due to our stretching to the challenges of life. Failure comes from we shrink from them. 

  –  John C Maxwell

So stretch and keep choosing a new path to the life you are stretching for.

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.

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