I didn’t end up on the high road through some innate quality of never being agitated. I didn’t find it through relentless and constant meditation either. I ended up there because I hit a dead end.

The traffic of clashing egos, the smog of festering wounds, the bumper-to-bumper of stubbornness left me no place to go. I had no energy left. Or, keeping up with my analogy, you could say I simply ran out of gas.

But once I left my old cumbersome vehicle of hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and invalidated opinions, I found that the high road was clear. It was expansive. There were very few other people up there, and I could make twice as much progress simply walking than joining the rat race below. But most importantly, I felt free.

Those trying to make their way to the high road are coming from different directions, so I may not know the best way for you to get there. But, one day you may grow very tired like I did. You may run out of gas or simply want the fastest way there. Well, here is my take:

Find that soft place inside you and fold into it. Surrender the battle. Accept that you’re always going to be misunderstood, you’re never going to get that apology, your best won’t be enough. People will wrong you, not respect you, not value you, and to some people, your natural way of being is deeply flawed. If you feel like a victim, then you’re still not free. You’re still tangled up, stuck in a traffic jam with other people waiting for someone to say or do the right thing. Chances are, you’re misunderstanding and judging others, too.

So dissolve yourself and absolve yourself. If you can manage this, if you can manage to melt into a puddle, and be recollected bit by bit, you’ll end up there. Trickled down on the high road in a display of prismatic sunshine.

And once you get there – all the things that aren’t working, all the broken pieces of whatever ego-driven vehicle you left behind – leave it. Let go of the things that aren’t working and throw all your passion into the things that ARE working in your life.

There will be a lot of people you care about still struggling along, so there is the temptation to go back down and try to dig people out of their holes and then get smog blown in your face and have a bad day. But if you stay on the high road, you’ll have the only thing that is truly useful: a higher perspective and vantage point from which you can shower love, understanding, compassion, and patience on everyone.

Because you’re free now. By accepting yourself completely, you’ve merged with your vulnerability and there is no need to protect it anymore. Thus, there is no need to engage or explain yourself. When you reclaim that power, being patient is easy, empathy is easy, compassion is…easy.

Keep walking on the high road, and one day you may find a beautiful, pristine pond that reflects back the person you’ve grown into. A walking Master… A Buddha.

Endless gratitude to those patient beings cheering me on and helping me find my way back. Endless gratitude to a perfect Master for helping set me free.