“Follow your dreams” the quote on the poster said with a gorgeous sunset viewed from atop a grand mountain. Yes, of course I want to follow my dreams. But the poster didn’t explain that the path would not be straight.

“Climb the ladder to success” encouraged the career guides and success books. Yes, I want to be successful so I want to climb the ladder. But the books and experts never explained that the ladder wasn’t straight and sometimes rungs were missing.

“You have the power within you.” Great advice received by many coaches and sage advisors along the way. Yes, I believe I have all I need within me. I am ready to seize the day. But what no one ever really explains is how hard it can be to find that power, even when you believe in it. Especially on the darker days.

There is nothing wrong with any of this great advice that I have received and continue to receive on my life journey. This post isn’t to criticize those statements and the power to inspire that they intend. While each of us are out there blazing our trails, creating magic, sharing kindness, inspiring others, being the change that we each wish to see in the world – it takes work. It is a practice.

And the path is not straight. It is jagged at times, and other times pitch black. It has ups and downs, curves and darn roots to trip you up. There are amazing people along the route with flashlights and hand rails to extend – but sometimes even with the help, it can be hard. And even with people around, you can still feel alone. I know at times I do.

When you hit those dark patches, you may want to push them away or ignore them. It can be the hardest thing to face them directly and go deeper, but that is where the real growing happens. I’ve been into some of those dark patches before and I still encounter them now. I’ve been going deeper to better understand the stories behind them. So many stories!

This life journey isn’t a straight line, for sure. But it is filled with learning, filled with funny moments when I have to laugh at myself…And believe me, I do. A lot. And it is filled with love.

Every day I am finding my way.