“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo
This was a big detour in my life:
This is what I did with it:
The more we travel down our “detours” the more we realize that our “detours”…
…are not detours at all.
Every road leads somewhere.
And everyone’s life “detours” eventually. It’s what we do with that detour that makes the trip amazing.
On each “Why Not Wednesday” we hear about someone else’s detour in life. The more inspiring stories we hear about people dealing with unexpected difficulties, the more empowered we are to deal with our own detours in life.
So now, I’d like you to meet Detourist #6 – a traveler who really has made her detour an incredible journey. Take it away, Reba!
My name is Reba Linker and I’m a Detourist.
Life is a detour.
We start at Point A, innocent babes, with bright, open faces, and a heavenly scent, hardly knowing where our own bodies begin and end, full of wonder and trust, sharing laughter and peek-a-boo games with all comers, deliciously irresistible to all who meet us, …
…and then we start to learn how to be human, and how to fit better into the world we see around us.
We learn to shape ourselves to avoid pain, and conform to what people around us expect of us. We learn to protect ourselves by covering our openness. We develop strategies, as best we can, to hide or suppress the parts that make us vulnerable to criticism, shaming or abuse.
In short, we grow.
Now we are all grown up, and heading straight for Point Z, about as far from point A as we can get.
No longer open and trusting, we use judgment and discrimination to decide who is acceptable in our world, and who not. No longer delighted with the present moment, we hunger for goals, achievement and recognition.
We run from pain, and yet we find that we have invited a different kind of pain into our lives: the pain of losing our authentic selves.
Whether we achieve our goals or not is immaterial. We may feel the frustration of unfulfilled dreams, or, we may power through and achieve our goals at all costs, only to feel isolated and unfulfilled by our achievement. Either way, we feel inexpressibly distant from the innate joy, spontaneity, connection, and abundance that we were so fully blessed with as infants.
I spent my life on that trajectory, pursuing all the things and achievements I thought would make me happy.
I strove for all the outer markers of success: I opened a business and worked at it until we were pumping in half a million dollars per year. I was slim, attractive and bright. I elicited not one, but several marriage proposals, sparkly rings and all.
By gosh! I was a success!
But inside I didn’t feel like a success.
I was on a long detour, learning what really matters.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not denigrating my achievements. I am proud of all that I accomplished, for the lives I touched, and for pursuing the things that I thought would make me happy.
What I learned, though, is that only I have the power to give myself the approval, love, and acceptance that my soul craved.
My life has been a detour, but a necessary one, for I would not have made my way here, back to Point A, without all the lessons I learned as I aimed myself towards Point Z.
Now, I am firmly headed back to Point A, to recover the joy and abundance that is my birthright.
While I still love to accomplish great things, I am no longer driven by outer achievements. Rather, I pursue the inner goals, the ones that I have control over, the ones that make me truly happy: I am here to share the lessons I learned on this beautiful detour called life. I am here to help alleviate the suffering that we go through as we stake our happiness on things that do not have the power to make us happy. (Thank you Amy, for this opportunity to share with your readers!)
Life is a detour. We are all gifted with abundance, power, joy, and every good thing we could possibly desire. Then we forget, and we wander on endless byways, searching, without knowing it, for what we originally possessed. Then one day we remember all the precious things we left back at Point A, and we begin to find our way back again, stronger, clearer, and surer. Through our long, long detours, we learn who we are and why we are here.
And that’s why…I #LoveMyDetour!
Reba Linker is a master teacher, bestselling author, and life coach, ready to lead you on the path of self-love to a happier and more fulfilling way of life. If you are tired of trying to overcome obstacles and inner critics on your own, then you are invited to become part of Reba’s free Facebook group, Leaders in Self-Love, and join the self-love revolution!
Thank you Reba! Whata journey. I hope Reba’s inspiring story has inspired you to start thinking of your life as a journey, a story that you can be the author of. So start turning that story in the best story you’ve ever read.
Here’s what I’m trying to do:
- I’m trying to capture “Detourists” from all over – anyone who’s had some kind of unexpected glitch in their travels and how they’ve kept traveling along the path to see where it leads.
- I’m trying to start a whole movement to show that we all have things come up in life that may surprise us, but they don’t have to derail us. I’m proof of that myself!
- And what I’ve experienced is, the more stories we hear about turning an obstacle into an opportunity, the more empowered we are to transform our own lives and have confidence that when life DOES surprise us, we’re capable of getting through anything.
Instagram #LoveMyDetour Challenge
There’re more than one way to share your detour. Sing it, dance it, walk it. Take a picture of your detour and share it with me on Instagram with #LoveMyDetour – anything goes! I’ll be featuring your pictures every week in my #LoveMyDetour Gallery – or start a Detourist Chapter on your college campus!
Hold up a sign, draw a picture, snap a photo of your path. It could be the very road in front of you…you never really know where it leads, do you?
Be sure to subscribe for your Detourist guide and weekly navigation tips!
Learn more about private coaching to help navigate your detours here.