When the pathway disappears

Image: Annie Spratt

When you’re walking a clear pathway…
When certainty lights the road ahead…
When you’re backed up by the ‘tried and true’…

This is when you can know
you’re not on your path
but rather on someone else’s.

Now — there’s not much wrong with following someone else’s trail. It usually leads to less stress and more comfort in life. To nice retirement plans and healthcare benefits.

But don’t be surprised when
some day
it hits you…

This path isn’t mine.

Your soul will eventually call you to more.

Maybe not this lifetime. 
Or the next. 
But eventually, it will.

And you’ll go. And it’ll be terrifying. And you’ll be questioning yourself the entire way.

And that old path will fade further and further into the distance. When suddenly you’ll look around and have no reference as to where to turn next.

You know you’re on your path when it disappears.
 — David Whyte

It’s important, when this happens, to realize that you’re not off the path. You’re not going in the wrong direction.

You’re just going in your direction.

This is when the logical mind might freak out. It doesn’t make sense to go any further. The sensible approach will be to head back to that trail and pick up where we left off.

But something deeper than the logical mind will pull you forward. Making fresh footprints will become more familiar and less threatening. And you’ll go. And you’ll see where that leads you.

You might even start hearing footsteps from behind.


Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people deepen their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way.

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