Back in December I was out driving and I got so turned around. It was weird because I wasn’t in unfamiliar territory. I knew the area and I should have known where I was going, but somehow I wound up in an unfamiliar space. I took myself so far out of my way and became so impatient and irritable with myself. Let me be honest and frank. I was pissed. I should have known better and I wasted my time. In reality, it was probably only about 5 minutes, but still! That was 5 minutes I could have been doing something else. Now considering that I was driving, I’m not quite sure what else I could have been doing save for driving. However, in the moment, I knew I could have had the option to do something else besides getting lost in a familiar area.
Well I was in the same area the next day. Of course you know I had visions of previous irritation dancing in my head. I vowed to myself as I was driving that I wouldn’t make the same mistake from the night before. I would pay attention, doggone it. I noticed a detour sign as I was driving my familiar route. It turns out that there was construction underway on the bridge and it was closed until December 12th. That means I would not have been able to go across the bridge–which is where I was trying to go the day before. That’s when it hit me. I wasn’t being derailed. I was being redirected. I may not have known about the bridge closing the day before, but my detour actually prevented me from getting stuck in the crosshairs of the traffic jam that was underway because of the bridge closing. I went from irritation to gratitude. It turns out those 5 minutes really weren’t a waste after all. And my little driving detour is a perfect metaphor for life.
The Universe is constantly working on our behalves, sending us on little detours. So often when we come across a detour we focus on the inconvenience and disappointment of it. We take detours as stop signs, erroneously believing that the presence of a detour means our goals will never come to fruition. We believe a detour is a denial, a setback from which we cannot recover; which further serves as proof that what we are never able to get the things we want to pass. So we stop instead of taking the detour. We change courses completely or just turn around and go back from whence we came. However, the truth is that detours are meant to help us. We cannot see the chaos that lies ahead should we continue on our path, but The Universe can and so it sends us on a detour to help us avoid it all. Keeping with my traffic imagery, let’s consider when we receive GPS or traffic cam updates while we drive. Usually, the traffic reporter is reporting from a helicopter where he or she has an aerial view, which provides a greater perspective. The traffic cam can see all the things you can’t see. So when you’re stuck in the middle lane of gridlock traffic, gritting your teeth and cursing as the road rage courses through your veins you can’t see that there’s an accident 4 miles ahead that is causing the trouble. You can’t see the construction that’s taking place which will absolutely make traffic go smoother in the long run. Often what seems like obstacles to us are not obstacles at all, but mere detours pointing us more efficiently in the right direction. Consider the detours in your life. Were you actually stopped from seeing your dream come true? Or were you simply redirected? The next time you encounter a detour, consider that there may actually be construction on the bridge ahead and the detour is simply redirecting you to help you avoid the chaos.