“Go inwards, find your inner space, and suddenly you will find an explosion of light, of beauty, and ecstasy.” Osho
Picture this: you’re in a tall labyrinth scrambling to get out. The sky appears stuck, neither launching into day nor receding into night.
Could the clouds not whisper a solution, you wonder, or drop down a map that could show you the way?
But like every human wedded to problem-solving, you decide to keep going. Sometimes you’re determined, sometimes you rest, and sometimes you bang your head against a wall and cry.
In one of these desperate moments, a stranger appears from an unknown corner. He looks down at you, a fatherly sort of expression that warms your spirit. He reaches out to take your hand and pick you up.
“Come with me,” he says. He interlocks his fingers with yours.
You follow the stranger, trusting he’ll guide you to the labyrinth’s exit. You’re tired but also relieved to know he’s rescued you.
Minutes turn into hours, and your interlaced fingers grow sweaty. Suddenly you realize the stranger is leading you nowhere.
“How could you do this to me?” you shout at him. “I trusted you!”
“I dunno,” he shrugs, “I thought I knew where I was going. Besides,” he adds, “I only said ‘Come with me.’”
You release the stranger’s hand and tell him to piss off. He tosses you the “Good luck” phrase while you give him the finger.
Soon, the next person comes along. You know better this time. I’m not taking anyone’s hands, you say to yourself. I’m doing this on my own.
More people arrive in the labyrinth, disturbing your concentration. One person turns into two people, turns into three, turns into five individuals—and suddenly a crowd is looking down at you.
“Take our hands,” they say.
“You don’t know your way out.”
The strangers stare at you with confused expressions. “We’re not trying to find our way out; we’re trying to find our way in.”
For many of us, life’s journey feels like navigating a complex labyrinth. There are no maps or “Exit” signs along the way, and we often fantasize about escaping reality.
But what if we were meant to get trapped? What if we were meant to get entangled? What if advancing means moving inward?
There’s beauty in this cosmic web if we choose to change our perception—and people who were once hindrances might turn out to be our greatest allies.
Here are five people you’ll want to befriend for life’s complex journey:
1.The optimist. This is the first stranger, the one who would walk the labyrinth without minding detours. His attitude is wildly uplifting but can also lead to blunders that don’t always turn out well. Cherish the optimist because he’s a beacon of faith and takes risks when others lack the courage to do so.
2. The skeptic. This person doubts everything. She sees possible roadblocks, problems and crises that could arise from one wrong move. Her mantra is “question everything.” The skeptic is good for wising up to danger (and bullshit) but make sure you pair her with the optimist for balance. Too much skepticism and the sky will appear apocalyptic.
3. The friend. While the optimist and skeptic quibble about the labyrinth, turn to your friend for a hug and a laugh. The friend is there by your side, observing the mistakes and triumphs that inevitably appear during your inward journey. He uplifts you through words and deeds and wants what’s best for you (even when you don’t). Take time to appreciate the friend because he’s the vessel for radical self-acceptance and forgiveness.
4. The teacher. This person reminds you that you’re still learning, which leads to healthy humility. Listen to your teacher and your capacity for knowledge instantly expands. Rest in the nurturing, instructive presence of the teacher until the day comes when you’re no longer the student but the teacher, too.
5. God. With a new outlook, we begin to see miracles that weren’t there before (there are just too many synchronicities that we can no longer chalk up to random coincidences). We start to see the Divine in everything; we see God inside the labyrinth, outside the labyrinth, and behind the sky that once looked so bleak.
If we can accept the labyrinth for what it is—that it is an intended space for human entanglement and development—then our five-person posse becomes the Soul’s best company. And we can begin to live and enjoy our lifelong walk through the labyrinth.