“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Be born, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, have grandkids, get old, die. That’s the plan right? Well, so we think. Unfortunately so many get stuck in this cookie cutter idea of what life is supposed to look like, only to live in constant frustration and disappointment that their life looks nothing like the standardized version.
Life may drift them more and more off course, and they keep trying to control the helm by bringing it back to the life they think they should have, like the characters on TV.
Unfortunately much of their life is spent in the struggle trying to get back “on course”, or what they believe is “on course.” So much time is wasted in this struggle to no avail.
Only when a person just gives up, surrenders to the tides of their life are they able to see that their idea of how things were SUPPOSED to go was causing them a constant frustration because they were never actually enjoying anything about the present moment, or the way things WERE going.
Who says things have to go exactly like that? If things aren’t going exactly like the social norm does that means that things have gone “wrong”?
The fun and adventure lies in the spontaneity, in the suspense, in the uncertainty. Of course it’s fun to have goals and aspirations, things that we envision ourselves doing and ways that we can offer our gifts and talents to the world, but in order to become more open to possibilities and opportunities that are awaiting us, ones that we never expected were possible, the most important thing we need to do is stop planning our futures so rigidly.
We must allow ourselves to relinquish the need to have absolute control over every single situation, small or big. We must let something else take over, something that knows way more than we do….
“When I finally learned to let go of having to totally control everything around me and let my life unfold, I was stunned by the results. How could I have ever thought I could outsmart the Universe?” ~ Geri Larkin
The problem with trying to control how every situation will go is that we cannot always see the bigger picture in every situation. We have no idea why we didn’t get the job we applied for, or why our partner decided to leave us, or why the car wouldn’t start on our way to work.
All the ego knows is that this situation was “bad”, we experienced some sense of sadness or pain, and because it does not desire to feel uncertain, or pain, sadness or vulnerability ever again, it must plan. It must control how everything in the future will go, so as to never feel out of control or open to chance ever again.
However, so much of our life is dependent upon things that we cannot control completely. The weather, traffic, how other people behave, whether or not we get the big promotion, who we meet and how we meet them, are all things that we cannot control 100% of the time.
But the question is, why would we want to? Having total control over every single situation is not only an exhausting endeavor for us but is also a stifling experience for the people in our lives. The result of this fear of losing control is that we limit the universe in being able to direct us to paths that we may not have ever thought of on our own.
As soon as an opportunity or possibility is presented to us that doesn’t fit into our box, or rather our plan of what our life is supposed to look like, we turn away from it and label it “bad idea”… bad idea because it’s not what we think life is supposed to look like.
But if we look at our life from a broader view, from the big picture perspective, and openly accept the fact that we didn’t get the job, or we were dumped by our partner, or our car breaking down made us late for an appointment, we may in fact realize a better job opening was coming along, a new healthier relationship was just around the corner, or our car breaking down prevented us from being involved in a huge accident on the highway.
So just because a situation is not what we WANTED to happen, or what we planned on happening does not necessarily mean that it was bad.
We can look at life in two different ways, one is that things don’t go as planned and that’s a bad thing, or we can look at it as if we live in a universe that always conspires for our greater good, so when something goes “wrong” or unplanned, we trust that it was for our greater good, always, even if we never see exactly why. The first option leaves us in constant resistance, and angry, bitter and stressed out constantly… and the second one leaves us grateful, accepting, and excited everyday about what that day may bring.
“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey” ~ Lemony Snicket
If we envision anything for our future selves it should be that we are the best version of ourselves possible. We are healthy, and happy and doing something that we love to do and surrounded by people that love us. If we make the main focus health and happiness we leave ourselves open to all the many paths and roads and trails that one might take to achieve these goals, instead of getting too attached to exactly how we think life should happen.
Think of the universe like the navigational system in the car, we know the end destination (us being the best version of ourselves), but the HOW we get there is always up in the air.
We may take a million left turns, take the scenic route or we may take the shortest route possible, only to find a happier more fulfilling destination mid-way through. The one thing that we can depend on though is that the universe never lets us get completely off course.
There is never too many “wrong turns” that the intelligence of the universe cannot re-route us back to being on track to our final destination. In fact, there is no “wrong” turns at all, there are only routes that allowed us to enjoy the view a little longer and take things a little slower, or routes that got us to our destination very quickly. Either way, we realize the fun was in the unexpectedness of the adventure.