Last summer after I moved closer to the Chattahoochee River, I was thrilled to discover that I was near many beautiful parks with hiking trails. Being in nature is food for my soul, and living in a home that doesn’t have the backyard I was accustomed to, it was imperative for me to find a trail that I could walk by myself and feel safe.
It can be difficult for those that do not have issues like invasiveness in their background to sometimes understand the heightened need for safety, especially in more vulnerable situations like hiking. Several parks I visited were quickly put into the ‘not safe’ zone only because the trail was too secluded and deep into the woods. Then one day a friend mentioned a park that I was completely unaware of that was nearby.
I was excited and went the next day. Immediately I knew it was the ‘one’ and my heart fluttered with every step. From the first time I walked the riverside trail, I noticed there was an offshoot path, that I never saw anyone use, which appeared to go closer to the river for a bit. I couldn’t see beyond the entrance and where it merged back on the main trail to get a feel for what it was really like and I longed to try it out.
Two opposing voices would consistently pop in my mind when I walked by it. One saying the path closer to the river was probably more peaceful, beautiful, beholding endless treasures in nature that the busier trail did not. The other voice had an alarm of danger… something awful could happen…no one would know and I would be helpless to a possible horrific outcome.
For seven months I listened to the second voice and cautiously stayed on the path more traveled which was safe, comfortable and I enjoyed it very much. Lo and behold today I found the courage within to step onto the path that had always called to me. It was actually easy to make the decision. Suddenly, I had a clear knowing that I would be just fine.
The path was peaceful, rich in beauty and other than the buzzing of the bees, was so still I could feel God hugging me through nature. My heart busted open with feelings of gratitude for the connection so much that I sat down on a log and felt tears on my cheeks. Not once seeing anyone else along the way, I stopped to take photos of the wild flowers. I meandered the entire time, taking it all in. Thinking how if I was on the other trail, I wouldn’t of had this divine experience.
Fear’s main job is to serve and protect us, and in many situations, we need it to be present to guide us out of danger. But most of the time, it robs us of creating the most incredible moments in our life. It can and will paralyze us and keeps us longing for the safety and comfort of the familiar path so that we can turn off those annoying alarms in our head.
There is always symbolism and mirroring in our physical actions to what is happening on the inside. I am grateful to have taken a step out of my comfort zone to walk on the path less traveled for I know I must be shifting something within that will help me to embrace and allow a new way of being.
My wish for you is that you take a step in a new direction that has been calling your name. Maybe it’s a creative project, making a call about a new job, or signing up for the workshop you’ve always wanted to attend. I love this saying: Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid! Like anything, the more you step through your fears, the easier it is to trust your internal guidance system and tap into knowing when you will be alright.