Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way

Before my father passed away in his sleep at the tender age of 55, one of his favorite things to say was, “lead, follow or get out of the way.” I hear Dad repeating that as I venture down the road of eternal happiness. This trail is often conceptualized as one that is reserved for the afterlife and doesn’t exist on earth. Yet I’ve found it here, and though it is not frequently traveled, it’s a great place to be, even if it’s off the beaten path of our culture. When I first arrived on this road, I found it was a journey ridden with many bumps. Once I persisted however, the road smoothed out and became very scenic, filled with beautiful curves between breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, rolling hills and valleys, mountains and forests.   As I walk along now, I enjoy magic revealed as the curves unfold when I slowly and deliberately approach them fearlessly. Other happy hikers have led me here. Some I know personally, mentors coaches, healers, friends. Others are strangers who are likeminded and touch me through their words. All know this “secret” journey, and we are willing to share with those open enough to learn of it. This road can only be entered via a personal portal when one is ready to desire and believe.

There are many others who share this highway, some newly arrived needing help with their direction. They simply require some roadside service in the form of reassurance. Those are the ones who stumble as I once did and need encouragement in the form of guidance; instruction as to how to fine-tune their personal navigation systems. They do not know that they are perfectly equipped to attune to their intuitive selves, yet with practice they figure this out. Their backpacks are heavier; in the process of getting lighter. When they come into my path now, I hold their hands and point until they discover and break free on their own with a sparkle in their eye and smile on their face. You can tell when the parachute has kicked in and they find their way. They become confident travelers.

There are also those who protest and block the road. They hold up banners that say, “Let me tell you about how much life sucks” or get stuck in the deepest potholes of complaining, dwelling on circumstances or insisting that being happy all the time is not only not a passable route; it is a dead end. These are the people that you wish to tell to get out of the way so the rest of us who have found a way to be there can get by, yet our happiness does not let us know that meanness, so we give a smile and a wave and keep on going. After all, many of us have been there too. We who are busy walking this journey simply step around them and continue on. We remember the time when we were so caught up in what was holding up our lives that we could not find the easy way out that was always available in the form of people, resources, options. Fear is a strong barricade.

The nice thing about travelling up this road is that the further along you go, the more you realize there is no turning back. The belief that this is indeed a real route paved to paradise stays with you and is reinforced by those you meet along your journey. Not only is it viable, it is the only one. Why would you ever go back to where you were when this joyous journey to which you have aspired has always been calling you; paved by that which makes you uniquely amused.

On this road of life, I lead in love, but consider myself more of a follower, of my heart of my dreams, of my intuition. I wonder what Dad would’ve thought about that. He seemed like a pretty happy guy. Only seventeen when he passed, I’m in my fifties now and it took a long time to arrive on this road. He’s a constant companion now, his spirit close to my heart.   As I travel, I want to shout out, “Lead, follow or get out of the way,” because I am motivated to always move forward. But I whisper it instead, walking slowly to enjoy the company and the view.

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