“There are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore.” ~ Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle
What is MY destiny? This is a question I have heard over and over throughout my 39 years. I have heard this question emerge from the mouths of disillusioned questioning adolescents and out of the mouths of seasoned clergy members. In fact, I would venture to say that one thing that knits us together as humankind, regardless of age, socioeconomic status, race, religion, orientation, or political affiliation is our common heartfelt need/ desire/ quest to understand the purpose our life has. So many individuals ask themselves, “What is the meaning if MY life? What is MY purpose here on earth? What was I created to be? What is MY destiny?” Many people lose sleep as they work frantically and diligently to find answers to these questions.
Our yearning to answer these questions comes from a deep desire to believe that there is a reason for our presence on earth that goes beyond daily existence. We want to believe that our lives have a greater meaning, even if that meaning is not a concept that we cannot fully grasp or understand. We want to know we are tied in with a greater plan, a plan larger than ourselves and the limitations of our minds and thoughts.
“You can never know about your own destiny: are the people you meet there to play a part on your own destiny, or do you exist just to play a role in theirs?” ~ Libba Bray, Going Bovine
Some individuals, like Libba Bray, believe that we never can truly know our destiny. She mentions that we cannot truly know if the people we come in contact with are in our lives to fulfill our destiny or we are in their lives to fulfill theirs. I personally would like to believe that our entire earth is interdependent and that we all have the potential to positively influence the destiny of those around us. Unfortunately, with the realities of life, this means we also have the ability to negatively impact the destiny of those around us – motivating people towards love or hate, towards acts of kindness or acts motivated by anger and hate.
I personally like to believe that part of my destiny will be fulfilled on this earth if my presence, my life, helps to make the lives of someone else easier. I want to know that I can love, comfort, and support the people I come into contact with and leave them feeling better in some way after our encounter (be it encouragement, support, developing a plan, or feeling like they are no longer alone).
“it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
I think that Elizabeth Gilbert brings up an important point….. when searching for our destiny, we must live OUR OWN destiny, and not the destiny of someone else. I may WISH that my destiny is to be an independently wealthy philanthropist, but given my current life situation that is just not likely. I may also WISH that my destiny is to be a welcoming individual who has an open house full of people at all times….. but if my personality style is introvert and I really need my down, quiet time in order to recharge my personal batteries, living the destiny of a person who constantly entertains would not be true to my own nature and character. This is why it is critical that we look to find our OWN destiny – to truly understand what makes us tick, what gives us pleasure, what motivates and encourages us. As we pursue those things, things that mesh with our personal internal “programming” we are closer to finding our own destiny.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” ~ Siddhartha Gautama
If you are not currently fulfilled in your life, if you find yourself lying awake at night wondering and crying out for more, then perhaps you are not living your destiny. If you are frustrated at work and home and feel as though you are on a merry-go-round that you just cannot seem to get off, it could be that you are not living your destiny. In reference to the wise words by Gautama that are printed above, you will continue on the path you are currently heading unless you make a conscious effort to change your route or shift your direction. Only YOU can decide if you are willing to take the risk to evaluate your life, your happiness, the direction you are currently heading and the direction you may want to head. And, then only you can take the leap of faith to pursue a new path.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today, 332 days ’til 40 I will continue to strive to understand what purpose my life may hold. I realize that I am responsible for my own destiny, as I am the only person who can evaluate and apply my personal passions and areas of gifting/ talent. I can work to comprehend and accept the role I can actively play to make a difference in the world. Once I possess this knowledge, I must have the faith in myself to take the risk and make change in my life that allows me to shift my direction in pursuit of fulfillment.
It is my hope that more people are able to shift their lives from surviving to thriving, from existing to contributing, from questioning to knowing, from discontent to gratification. Wishing you all the best as you walk along the path to your personal destiny.