This is Day 9 in the series “31 Days: What You Should Know Before An Affair“
The weather was glorious the day we got lost—the trees tall, the sky blue, the temperature just perfect. Dreary weather is not a prerequisite for a mistake.
We mapped it out before we left—the way we would go and how long it would take. And it would have worked perfectly had we noticed the merge in the road, which had not been delineated on the map. Throwing our cares to the wind, we enjoyed Starbucks drinks and catch-up conversation—filling in the gaps since we’d been apart.
As we traveled, we began to realize we never passed the city we’d planned to stop at for lunch, but forged on anyway, certain it was ahead. But over time, we passed road signs with decreasing frequency, and our surroundings became more rural as time passed.
Nothing looked as we expected, and although it was lovely, we decided to evaluate our location.
It didn’t take long to discover our mistake. Inadvertently we had merged onto a new road. It began as a small change we hadn’t noticed at all, but our one tiny unintended merge eventually landed us over sixty miles from where we’d originally planned to go, and getting back was going to take a while.
Sometimes we land where we never intended to go.
And sometimes we don’t recognize it until we’re already there.
I remember the day the first thought entered my mind—how magnetized I was to see him sing and direct one minute, and construct a theatrical set the next. I respected his decisive leadership, and subconsciously compared him to my husband in my mind.
It was a subtle merge onto a path of newness–into what would be the unknown.
I lectured myself, insisting it wasn’t strange to notice, nor was it odd to appreciate his obvious gifts. Certainly everyone could see them too. I minimized my thoughts, denied their significance, downplayed they even mattered at all.
This was the beginning of the merge.
And then, so many tiny decisions–one after another–traveling a path I’d never intended to go.
It would eventually lead to desolate and rural soul spaces, and would prove to be a very dangerous and costly trip.
You need to know today, one compromise will absolutely lead to more.
Never underestimate the power of incremental change over time. While it may be challenging to identify that first small merge—that innocent compromise—this is the heart work we must do.
Conquering the battle begins with awareness, and it’s crucial we’re honest with ourselves from the beginning–gut level honest. We must refuse our denial and become keenly aware of our emotions—unpacking their meaning and significance for our lives.
This is hard and holy–honest and vulnerable work.
Work made real in the daily pivotal moments, as we show up and pay attention time and again.
Fighting to stay on the path.
How has one small decision taken you somewhere you didn’t intend to go?
What did you do when you realized it?
Read Day 10 HERE
Throughout this series, if you have a question or a struggle and want me to address it or write on it in this series, please send me an email (jacque at jacquewatkins dot com) or a voicemail (green button on right sidebar) and I will do my best to incorporate it into this series. It will make me so happy to have feedback from you and to write what it is you might need. I can’t wait to hear from you.