We all seek our paths in life, our destiny. But most of us won’t ever hear a booming voice saying “THIS IS THE WAY.”
Still, we wait for the fog over our lives to lift to find a brightly lit waypoint illuminating the entire journey from the cradle to the grave that lies ahead.
That doesn’t even happen in video games these days, so we shouldn’t expect that in real life.
Waiting on an “aha-moment” can waste years of your life stalling in the maze until you get that perfect vista of the landscape ahead. But what if the clouds don’t clear.
What if you weren’t going to get more?
The Map Without A “You Are Here”
Very few of us get a trail map showing a “you are here.” We won’t get advance warning on the dead ends, the wrong-turns coming, or even the restrooms.
What if all you got was the trailhead? The start of a path, worn in the grass, leading into the surrounding hills.
The visible part of the route disappearing around the bend.
Would that be enough? Could you accept this incomplete course and heading clearly laid out without the knowledge of each twist and turn ahead?
The truth is we don’t usually get the choice. But we waste eons of time struggling with decisions that were never ours to make.
The Moving Monolith
Storybooks and fairytales tell us that if we hack away with our swords or attend so many elegant balls in castles, we fall into our one, true purpose. We are guaranteed to be assigned a soulmate. It’s inevitable.
If we struggle, there will be a magical snowman or a quirky friend to help us along. Then it’s just a straight shot until we hit 80 or 90 years old.
From childhood, we are told our destinies are found etched into the side of a stone monolith. You stumble upon it, fully formed. There are no questions and you’ll never have to doubt. Once we find it, it’s just a valiant march down a straight path until the final days of our lives. Or so we believe.
Of course, lives have never unfolded this way. It’s a unique and changing recipe for each of us, made up of ingredients we find along the way. The monolith moves.
Our destinies are shaped by everything we learn, every pain we suffer, and every person we meet. Some people will pop in to help you and you’ll pop into others’ lives to help them.
Humans Are Frail Creatures
Why is it this way? Why can’t we get the full rundown from the start?
Because are weak beings. If a god or the universe granted us a preview of the first challenge we’d meet or the first heartbreak, we’d abandoned the journey immediately.
We’ll also seek a path that has no heartbreak or sadness along the way. Of course, there is no path like that in life.
Give everything up to avoid the slightest prick of pain. Like a kid who would rather get smallpox than get a shot. How do you wrangle a human to their next goal if they bail at the first look at a washed-out bridge?
So, don’t wait on complete clarity to make your next move. And don’t get down with anxiety over missing your signpost or message written in the clouds.
The truth is, you are the destiny. The person you become is the purpose. Not your final location, status, title, significant other. It’s just you. And you can’t miss being you. The true you develops as you seek out your next destiny.
The Fortune We Don’t Want
We all want full disclosure on the twists and turns that lie ahead.
But what if we were granted the knowledge to see into the future and knew the pain that lay ahead. We’d avoid that path altogether. And yet, that path may be the one we’re supposed to take.
The fact is, we’d never start down any path if we knew the heartbreak that lies ahead. The secret is, every path will have suffering and sadness along the way. The good news is, every trail will lead to joy, serendipity, and friendship too.
In some award-winning Star Wars fan fiction I wrote, Yoda tells a young female Jedi. “Down that path, only suffering lies.” However, Yoda doesn’t tell her the path is the wrong path.
It may be her destiny. And he was probably exaggerating the “suffering” part. He meant there will be intense joy and devastating defeats ahead. As in all lives. It’s still the trail she must travel.
On a Clear Day
We can wait until the clouds clear and we receive total clarity. This moment usually doesn’t arrive though. And if it does arrive, we often spend our whole lives drawing from that one moment, not realizing it was never meant to set the entire course of our lives. It was there to get us to the next step.
Humans don’t get to opt out of sadness and regret. It’s built into the stones, roots, and soil of every path. But never forget, the joy, serendipity, and the friends we meet are also part of the tapestry. It all lies ahead no matter the path.
Be thankful when you get a dilapidated sign or find a worn footpath. So many before you, so many ancestors, haven’t even gotten that much as they began their paths.
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