I don’t remember exactly when I heard this anonymous quote for the first time but I do know that I’ve meditated on it at many points in my life. One of them was as I was going through my divorce more than 22 years ago.
Divorce can be an emotionally daunting process. Every road seems impossibly steep and impassable. Your lawyer wants reams of tax returns and other financial documents. Your kids are acting up. Your family gives you unwanted advice. Your friends think you should just be thrilled that you’re rid of him. You want to go to sleep and wake up in six months.
Questions run through your head like a thoroughbred at The Kentucky Derby: Why wasn’t I good enough? What were the signs I didn’t see? Will my kids turn into juvenile delinquents because of the divorce? Have I made the biggest mistake of my life? Is it too late to turn back? Will he find someone better than me and be a great husband? Will I find someone better than him and be a better wife?
These roads are like driving through a cul-de-sac over and over: you keep going in circles and there’s no way out.
What if all of the pain you’re experiencing right now—the difficult roads you’re traveling—lead to something better, something unexpected, and yes, something beautiful? What if the destination is a place you might not have considered visiting but there you are and it’s fantastic? What if you just allow yourself to travel on these difficult roads without an itinerary and believe that when you arrive you will be impressed and awe-struck?
I still think about this quote often. Not regarding my divorce, because I found my traveling companion 21 years ago and had the good sense to marry him. I found my destination but there are always life’s difficult roads, aren’t there? This is but one road you are traveling on but when you leave this difficulty, there will be others. Believing that you will arrive safely at a beautiful destination makes the road a little less bumpy.
I hope your destination is lovely, peaceful and full of wonder.