At some point on your path, you reach a fork in the woods, or a trail in the trees, or a place where a decision is required of you. And you have the option to do what you always do, to go the way you know, to stay safe. The path where the grass is trampled down and the way is paved and the signs are clear. Or you can follow the path that scares you most.
The path that scares you most is not necessarily the one that seems the most scary. Some paths are dark and cold, but that is only scary if you prefer light. Other paths may be open and expansive, with views of the valleys surrounding you. That might be what scares you most if you crave focus and security. There is no set path that scares; there is just the path that scares you most. And you will know, because you will sense a tiny desire to know what lies at the end of that path, even if you fear you cannot face it.
Sometimes you choose a path with no way of knowing where it will go. It may not even seem like a path; it’s just a choice or an inkling to start with, but as you set off you realise: you are on the path. And when terror grips you and you fear going forwards, that is the time when its most important to keep following the path. Because what you learn about the path that scares you most is that actually, what scares you most is not knowing, and it turns out that the path is littered with things you know.
That’s really what you fear. All your old fears and deepest regrets and poor broken bits of your heart. The path that scares you most will take you to something you didn’t know you needed, and along the way you’ll find things you didn’t know you were missing, and things you didn’t think you ever wanted to face again, but actually: it’s ok. Like the colour of leaves on the floor that remind you of a lost love. Or a ray of light through a tree that makes you think of the kindness you’ve received and have yet to pay back. (A kind voice unlike your own: it’s okay, there’s still time.) Or a tiny figure at the top of a hill, which brings you a moment of security and beauty you could not have possibly imagined when you started on the path. And the best part of all: a lesson learned. It’s not a journey fully taken if you never take the path that scares you most.