Euclid was my hero. Unlikely, I know; perhaps even odd.
As I stated in my book, Pathways to Possibilities, Euclid, the father of modern geometry, proposed the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line. For years, I applied this concept to my life. All I had to do, I told myself, was define where I was, where I wanted to be, and then connect the dots. This straight-line approach to life appealed to my sense of order and simplicity.
But it never worked. As hard as I tried, my experiences were anything but straight lines; they were more like chaos that looked something like this:
As hard as I tried, I just could not bring order to the chaos. No sooner would I come out of a crazy time in my life, just as I was catching my breath and bearings, the chaos would begin anew. There was no straight line. Euclid, how could this be?????
Then, not too long ago, I came across the image of a unalome.
I just thought it looked cool. But actually, The unalome represents the path to enlightenment in Buddhist culture. The spirals are meant to symbolize the twists and turns in life, and the straight lines represent the moment one reaches enlightenment, or peace and harmony. The dots at the end of the symbol represent death, or the moment we fade to nothing.
In the unalome, my total faith in Euclid was restored. My straight-line approach to life had been depicted horizontally, but if I turned it vertically, it was unmistakably a unalome.
The periods of chaos I experienced were the very same twists and turns depicted in the unalome. Twists and turns, which to me not only looked exactly like a mash up of a mobius strip and the infinity symbol, but captured the feeling I had most often in my life, that of a never-ending roller coaster ride. You know, just as you get to the top of the climb, before you can really take in the view, you are plunged downward, and in my experience, completely upside down. These twists and turns defined more periods in my life that I care to admit
In looking at the totality of the unalome, it made perfect sense to me. Out of the chaotic periods in my life came the learning and wisdom I needed to continue making my way to my authentic self. The chaotic periods were still chaotic, but maybe a little less so when I slowed down and applied what I had learned. Somehow, seeing the path in its universal form allowed me to feel calm.
As the unalome depicts, the path is not going to be easy or fast, and it certainly is not going to be a straight line, but it does represent not only where I have been, but where I am going.
While not a map, the unalome restored my faith in my path. I was on the right path after all.
PS. Have you ever stumbled upon something that was just meant to be in your life? Please add your comments.
The Pathways Unalomes are available in copper, bronze and silver in three varieties. A hanging icon, or a tailsman to hold or wear. Visit the Pathways store to see more.