• Finding Your Way

  • The Road Not Taken
    By, Robert Frost

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    It was about 22 years ago that I decided to leave my old life and try a new one. Leave I did by doing something that looked completely crazy to others; I became a therapist. I had spent twenty plus years in the sporting goods business in sales and management. Like many clients with whom I have since worked, I chose to no longer try to fit myself into the life I had. Rather than doing that which was clearly not working well, I accepted the possibility that maybe I no longer fit my life. Accepting that possibility makes turning back next to impossible. There his no un-ringing of that kind of bell.

    Making a change of the magnitude I had chosen was in no way simple or easy. I still had two children to provide for and parent. Not to mention keeping a roof to keep over my head seemed like a pretty good idea. I needed help. So, I sought help in therapy to become clear with all that I had to be clear about in the transition I had volunteered to undertake. Therapy did and does help a great deal for the issues I needed to address regarding my choice.After all, therapy is a change business and boy was I contemplating a big change.

    I have no regrets in making the change I did. Changing course has been overwhelmingly positive. That is of course, not to say it was easy. It wasn’t at all. Change requires sacrifice. Adversity doesn’t simply fade away because one has made a decision to change. However positive or necessary that change might be. On the contrary, we often face more adversity BECAUSE a process of change has been started. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Be that career changes, parenting or marriage. 

    I once held the belief that if I made the “right” change then, everything else would fall into place. Life would then no longer be as hard. I was wrong. As a result, I no longer hold that false belief. Part of me, of course, wish it were true. It would be nice that change would serve as a “key” to happy, trouble free life. Even if we do hold to a belief in some “magic” decision, part of knows that we’re kidding ourselves. It has been said, and this is true, we are hard-wired to struggle. Somehow we know that we learn far more from our failures that we ever will from our successes. 

    So, what I’ve learned as a result of my own and other’s travels in life, is that adversity seeks us. We rarely seek it out for ourselves. Facing life’s inevitable adversity invites us to grow beyond our own self-imposed limits. When we cease avoiding trouble through the myriad ways many avoid adversity’s effects, we find somewhere within us all we need to navigate that which we face. We can discover the courage it takes to face what we need to face. We find as welt the wisdom to seek help from others when we need help. We even discover our own humanity and the humanity of others as well. We can come to appreciate and accept adversity and truly embrace the place and significance it has in our lives. Then and only then can we truly appreciate what Friedrich Nietzsche meant when he said: “A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”