How do you know you are going the wrong way? It isn’t just by looking at the path itself. You are on that path because part of you, maybe a large part, maybe a small part, thinks it’s the right path. It’s green, easy to walk on, not too hard. You can be fooled if you only look at the path. Look not at the path itself, but at two things, inside you and your surroundings.
When my daughters were young they played a game I also played as a child. It was called ‘hot lava’. They would put stuff down on the floor; pillows, paper, blankets, stuffed animals. Then they would have to go all around the house with never touching the floor. The floor was hot lava and they would die if they fell in!
Look around you as you? Is your path surrounded by barrenness? Friends, family, work, fun all are far away? Are the surroundings dangerous? If you go off the path just a bit, will you encounter prickers and hot lava and burning coals? You are on the wrong path.
As you walk your path, are you peaceful? I don’t mean every second of every day, obviously life has heartache, stress and pain even when we are on the right path. I mean overall, in general, are you at peace with your path? Are you able to walk it and be nourished? Are you able to help others whose paths cross yours? Are you able to understand and grow on your path? Do you feel it has a destination that is worth the effort it takes to stay on the path? If the answers are no, you are on the wrong path.
If you realize you are on the wrong path, there is only one thing to do: Step off it. You may have to hack through an unexpected jungle to find your right path, but it will be worth it. You can’t go in a new direction if you don’t take that step.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Bert Hellinger, 1925-not dead yet, German psychotherapist, former Catholic priest