THE PATHS OF VOLITION

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”)

Image source: Google Images

Life is not something that is done to us, it is something that we do. It is called Living. When we greet another day of life, we appear at a crossroad in Mind, Body and Essence.  The degree may vary from person to person. Some may be present in one, two … or serenely present in all three. We are all unique in that aspect. It is at the crossroad where we choose our path, based upon the wholeness of our thoughts, words and actions.

The beauty of volition is that we are afforded the opportunity to change paths on our journey, or start over, so long as we have Life. Always. However, choices are not always easy and not always without confusion.  From birth we are nurtured to travel paths prejudiced by the choices of our parents, ancestors, society, cultures, environments, religions, education, and governments.  The awakening is when we become aware that we cannot live another person’s life; we can only live our own.

There are an endless number of side roads that branch off the path called Life, yet all of them lead to the same destination. There are no perfect journeys and there are more than one “right” path. The paths of volition. Below are several paths that I have experienced. You may have traveled along some, all, or quite possibly, none of them.    Let’s take a look!

When all’s said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it.
(Charles de Lint)

Faith.

Strong belief in a power greater than ourselves. Faith creates a beginning, middle and end in any journey. And the opportunity to start over when needed.

Trust.

Honest dialogue and consistent caring solidify inner strength that makes getting through tough times possible and rewarding, such as confronting a difficult history and making amends.

Hope.

Optimism is like a flashlight in a dark room. Don’t underestimate the power within that cultivate the possibilities of what can be.

Joy.

Helping others is intoxicating and requires no invitation. Charity is the nourishment of gratitude.

Discipline.

Stubborn might be a more accurate word here, but launching into a determined mission is not for the meek. What was originally a short-term project could become a lifelong pursuit. You just don’t know at the outset.

Love.

A positive view fostered by empathy cures a lot of ills. When Love is shared, it grows.  Love is also the source of the essence within.

Vision.

Remaining in the present with our eyes focused on the illuminated horizon of possibilities.

Courage.

How many times have you been told: “No, that won’t work”? “Why bother, it can’t be done”? I have heard both plenty of times; mostly from myself.  Do you achieve what you set out to do? Does  cultivated self-doubt and negativity of others  stop you before you take the first step towards an attempt?  Courage goes hand in hand with learning.  We can’t test the waters of the unknown until we find the courage to step away from the  shore that we know.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
(Proverbs 3:17)

The paths discussed above may or may not be for you.  You possibly have discovered paths that I have yet to experience. We have to choose for ourselves which path or paths help us develop or progress along our journey. Choosing the appropriate path may require seeing things a bit differently.  For me, it requires keeping an open mind and an open heart.  I try to not make it complicated.  I trust that each and every experience expands my awareness.  An awareness to use when I find myself at the crossroad again.  Don’t be surprised if the path you choose leads you to an unexpected place. Enjoy life—live it while you have it!

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