“One power we gain on our journey to the heart is the ability to redefine what we believe. We learn to see things in a new way.”
Melody Beattie (Journey to the Heart)
We humans have a tendency to decide very early on exactly how our lives should look, and then go about trying to shape them to fit the picture. It's good to have goals, but what happens when life takes an unexpected turn? Suppose the perfect marriage turns into the ugly divorce, or the perfect boss hands us a pink slip. Suddenly, we are casualties in our own drama. After much suffering, most of us go right back to manipulating life to fit “the way things ought to be” according to our master plan. Speaking for myself, this treadmill is very familiar.
We do, however, have the power to change the scenario. We can redefine what we believe about life. If you're anything like me, quite a bit of sweat is involved. First, we need to uncover our original expectations, what efforts we made to realize them, and what went wrong. We can then decide exactly what we'd like to do as a result, and maybe even outline steps toward that goal. There's only one problem with that—there will still be unexpected turns in the road. We will always need to accommodate what we cannot foresee. In other words, our control of life, even our own life, is seriously limited.
Another possibility is that we could just see where life takes us. Think of it as driving down a long highway. The scenery changes—you go through mountains, valleys, prairies, deserts, swamps. You don't rail against these changes, you just roll on through. If we expect life to change, if we accept that the scenery will vary as we go along, we can make peace with it. We can even look forward to exploring what's around the next bend. Instead of wasting all our energy trying to straighten the road, we can enjoy the curves. If we can bless our original plan and wave goodbye to it, who knows what we may discover along the way.
In the Spirit,