Wouldn’t it be funny if you took the wrong exit from the highway, and your GPS suddenly shouted at you: “What the HECK are you doing?! Go back NOW and try it again before it’s too late!” Of course, that isn’t how a GPS device works. It just dispassionately recalculates the best path from HERE, wherever here is.
What if we worked like that? What if we saw each of life’s many turns, including those that lead us off our intended path, as just one more turn bringing us to HERE. Whether you “lose that contract” or “he doesn’t call you back” or “she said yes!” you still find yourself HERE.
Every turn in your life up until NOW has made you who you are, given you your unique sensitivities and strengths, shown you some new path or opportunity. Look around, and you will notice there is something this place has to teach you, there is something you have to offer from here, and there is something for which to be grateful.
And if you feel lost, in the words of poet David Wagoner:
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
HERE is the solid ground beneath your feet, your launching pad to your next turn. But life doesn’t come with a GPS. So when that inevitable “wrong turn” comes, if you listen closely, you will notice that, too, has something precious to offer: something this place needs that your presence brings, something this place has that nourishes you.