Byway

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Byway: (n) a road or track not following a main route

Introspection is beneficial as long as we’re not afraid of discovering untended wounds.

They are there.

They annoy us, but unless we track them down and identify the pain, generally speaking, we assume that we are trapped in our destiny.

Somewhere on the highway of life, we all get hurt. The speed limit is just too fast. People are trying to get to their destination and don’t mind being rude. There aren’t enough rest areas, stop-offs or gasoline stations to keep us safe and well-attended.

We become cynical. The road continues without seeming purpose, except for the dissolving of mile markers.

That’s why I tell you that nothing good ever happened in my life on the highway. Everything of quality that has been brought into my soul appeared on the by-way.

Those times when I had the courage to depart the majority opinion or the flock of determined sheep, and exit to find my own thoughts and grazing, I birthed something of quality.

You see, it’s not that small towns are better than large towns. It’s just that there are too many roads that flow into the big city. Traffic control becomes more important than people’s feelings. When there is only one blinking light in town, you stop because you want to look both ways. You’re not trying to avoid delay, but instead, appreciating the chance to test your brakes and peek around.

It was Frost who talked about “the road less taken.”

It was Jesus who warned us of the dangers of the “broad path which leads to destruction.”

If we really do believe that life has a quality to it, then we should be in search of that treasure. If we think the journey on Earth is a perpetual popularity contest, then we’ll probably avoid the byways–and in so doing, find ourselves crammed up in traffic, cursing the nearby competitors.

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Agitation

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgitation: (n) 1. a state of anxiety or nervous excitement 2. the action of briskly stirring or disturbing something, esp. a liquid

Proximity.

It’s a great word. It means how close I am to something.

Occasionally I become very upset at myself for agitating my own spirit, allowing my being to be disrupted, disoriented, and lending itself to disorganization.

It doesn’t take me long to trace the problem. I put myself in too close proximity to something that should be further away. I even have friends and family who are best suited for spending time at a distance from me and I from them, so as to maintain the mutual love and respect that we both would hate to lose.

Agitation is a proximity problem.

It is difficult for us, as human beings, to sit ourselves down in the middle of our quandary, surrounded by the tension, and still remain rational and capable of solving dilemmas. It is necessary to create distance from anxiety in order to free ourselves from worry.

That’s the truth.

I know some people would disagree, saying it’s idealistic to think we can escape the surrounding “crush of crash” in order to make adequate judgments. But I have never been able to be agitated and be anything but a jerk.

  • I need distance.
  • I need air.
  • I need the ability to turn my back on the oppression, stoop down and “fiddle in the dirt with my finger,” giving my spirit the chance to calm down, and therefore, my mind the opportunity to clear.

If you reach the point of agitation, you’ve already missed your exit off the freeway of frustration.

Pull over. Get off the highway. Don’t try to text, drink your coffee, stare down at your computer and drive your car. It only feeds the agitation.

I do believe that everything in life is a proximity decision. And when we run across something that stymies us, it doesn’t do any good to try to stare it down.

Walk out of the room, buy yourself a minute, regain your soul, escape agitation … and let the better parts of you speak the wisdom that’s available.