All summer we have joked about how difficult it is to get from one place to another given all the road work in the Twin Cities. "You can't get there from here," has been our mantra in recent months. But when we got home from our road trip in which we encountered an amazingly small amount of road work and detours, even in Chicago, we discovered the truth in "it has to get worse before it gets better." At the end of our street and all the parallel streets in our neighborhood was a big Road Closed to Thru Traffic sign and barrier. Suddenly, our loop of life felt like a non-maneuverable maze.
Of course, I can't miss the opportunity to view the situation as a spiritual message. Here are a few ways to view life when a Road Closed sign appears in front of us.
#1 Stop! Don't try to go around the barriers, but, instead, use the time when the road is torn up to put your feet up and take a breath. Several breaths. Do you really have to be on the go all the time? Perhaps, staying in your own inner backyard might be just what is needed.
#2 Accept the Challenge. The road appears to be closed, at least temporarily, but is there another way to go? Is there another destination that will be just as rewarding? As you explore alternatives, enjoy the view along the way. What is new and interesting that you haven't noticed before? What is appealing about the new route?
#3 Let go. Yes, this sounds similar to the invitation to Stop!, but I think there is a difference. You may have been on the same road of regret or blame or worry or fear for far too long. You may be stuck in your own story. That road is closed, so stop traveling it. My favorite resource, by the way, for learning how to let go is The Little Book of Letting Go by Hugh Prather. Download here. and use it. You know who you are!
#4 Do Your Own Repair Work. Take a hint from all the road work around you. What needs work in your own life? Imagine getting all sorts of Federal money tossed your way to do major repair in your life. What needs to be tackled first? What kind of a crew do you need to enlist to get the job done? Set a deadline and get started. Now is the time.
Dear friends who live in the suburbs now know every possible way to get to our house, and how grateful we are they have not been deterred from coming to be with us. Life is too exciting and interesting to let a little road work get in the way. Besides, won't it be wonderful when it is all done.
What road work have you encountered recently and how have you responded? I would love to know.