I set out the other morning into the streets of beautiful Barcelona and wanted to walk the city on foot. My favorite part about traveling to new places, especially cities, is exploring. Barcelona’s streets can be like mazes in certain areas, covered in tiny streets that are lined with massive, grandiose buildings that you cannot see over nor can you really know which way you are heading.
As I began my journey, I was slightly nervous because it was my first time wandering the streets alone there and my mom and dad had done a thorough job of being good parents by warning me to be very cautious when out and about.
So, my plan was to use maps initially in my phone to find my way to Sagrada Familia, an infamous church in Barcelona, from city center where I was staying, which was about a 2 mile walk.
As I set out, Siri had me zig-zagging through the maze of streets at a rapid pace to which I soon had no idea where I was. 115 feet then make a left, 308 feet make a right, 67 feet make another right. All on street names in Spanish, might I add. At one point I must have missed a turn and I ended up far off course, which caused me some back tracking.
I couldn’t help but think to myself how funny it was that I had it all mapped out and I knew exactly which steps to take, the directions to find what I was looking for and a guide to help me. And I still managed to get lost. I had to laugh at how ironic this was.
In the beginning I told you my favorite part about traveling was exploring, but in all honesty the true favorite part, that I didn’t want to spoil, is getting completely lost. There is something so fascinating about having no idea where you are and having to rely on your sense and intuition to navigate.
I shut my maps off. I turned my phone back on airplane mode. I decided that Siri wasn’t helping me and that I wanted to relish in one of the reasons I came to Spain. To get lost. And, then again, to find my way.
From that point forward I relied only on my sense of direction and what seemed to make the most sense or look familiar. I remembered a few streets and landmarks and had a general idea of where the church was. I had to smile at the fact that I had set out on an adventure that day to, in other words, find God, or at least one of his houses, in Spain. And I had a hunch I would find what I was looking for because He tends to always help us find what we are seeking.
What I realized in my travels was sort of profound in more ways than one.
The map had me making a bunch of turns that didn’t make sense and didn’t actually get me where I wanted to go. How many times in life have I made decisions based on my plans (my map) that had me making choices and turns where I maybe could have done it differently? How many times did I think my map was the only way? The only route? The only set of directions that would work? And how many of those times did I still end up lost?
How many times in life do we make a blueprint, a plan or have a set future in mind that we feel we can’t deviate from that at times blurs our judgment, distracts us, gives us tunnel vision or keeps us from other experiences we might need to have?
How many times in life do we have it all planned out? Our future laid before us of how we want it to be. I’ll go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, have kids, the white picket fence, etc.
While that wasn’t necessarily my vision or dream, you can see how so many of us just go through the motions of life, making turns as we think we are supposed to or are told to, not realizing we might have forgotten our very own sense of direction. Somehow along the way we all lose our sense of intuition or we forget how powerful it can be.
When I turned off my maps app, I found a relatively straight shot to where I was going. It was so much easier than it looked or than I thought. I found my way there and back using only my intuition.
By silencing the plan, the map, I found within me that deeper sense of knowing. I showed myself, once again, I could find my way. It gave me a sense of inner trust that I had forgotten about. I had forgotten that I know more than I think I do and that when I silence all the noise and the plan, beautiful things start to happen. My eyes were wide open and I listened to myself. I relied on myself. I believed in myself.
I know maybe it sounds a bit too deep for a silly outing to a church, and perhaps it is, but what I’m now more certain of, is that when you learn to believe in yourself, trust yourself and listen intently and solely to your intuition, miracles happen.
And I’ll tell you what, when I did find what I was looking for, it was one of the most magnificent things I will likely ever see in my life. Not only was this day monumental for my eyes, it was also one for the books of my soul. I was reminded that I know where I’m going and incredible things await when I follow this knowing. I didn’t just find a church or the most stunning thing I’ve ever seen that day. No, what I found was my intuition. A complete reconnection to me; myself. Trusting in my ability to find the way.
As I mentioned, the man upstairs has a funny way of helping us find everything we need and more. Little did I know that what I was truly seeking was already right there, inside of me. Namaste.