I’ve been learning about labyrinths. And when I try to talk about them, people ask, “You mean like a maze?”
No, a maze has dead ends. Mazes want to fool you–to frustrate and make fun of you.
I don’t like being mocked. Labyrinths have no dead ends. They are a winding, unhindered path.
About 2 years ago I felt closed in. Everywhere I turned was a block on my path.
My job was a trap. No way to succeed.
And my home after the job was a maze of family obligations: the daughter, the dog, and all the dirty dishes.
My blood pressure rising, which stressed me out and made my blood pressure rise. Unhealthy cycle.
At the time I decided I would give my heart a break.
I got up early in the morning, leaving behind a broken hearted dog and ran.
It was addictive–going at my own pace, and feeling my own strength.
I ran every single day. Seven days a week for about 9 months.
I hit a dead end. Crime put up a hindrance on my route.
I thought about my time of running when I was walking labyrinths this weekend.
With labyrinths, like most of my life, I appear to be non-traditional. I attack the labyrinth with a purpose. The labyrinth is twisty, arcing path. It lends itself to ponderance.
Many people slowly walk them, and when I watch them I assume they are likely getting more out of the experience than I am.
My pace is one with purpose. Wherever I go. I am most at ease when I am energetically in motion. For example, I feel so unbelievably free and creative on public transportation.
I’ve encountered labyrinths here and there, and they pull me in. They just feel right. Walking them, I see myself and chuckle.
See, even when the way is clear, I want to push it and rush it and GET TO THAT GOAL.
Life isn’t like that. The goal isn’t that. My running–the goal of what that time was–wasn’t what I imagined while I was doing it. Goals have a way of shifting unpredictably. I have some trouble with unpredictable.
I seldom trust the path in life. Even when it’s been completely unhindered, I anguish against how long it’s taking and the turns that seem off track.
I trust a labyrinth in a way that I don’t trust most of life. They labyrinth promises a path.
So I experience the labyrinth as a lab exercise in trust. What it is like to know for a contiguous period of time that I will be alright, that I am on the right path.
I trust the labyrinth, and yet I’m so used to second guessing and jockeying for something better or for self-protection, I can’t lay it down even in the guaranteed safe. So I laugh at myself. And I see how I could lighten up in the rest of my life.
The unhindered path is there. Even if I don’t see it.