I have been reading and listening to spiritual leaders/gurus/guides for years now and some of these advisors believe in a predestined path, that everything that has happened and will happen was meant to happen. I don’t believe this, I believe that we have the ability to make choices and that those choices dictate whether we are on our most lucrative, beneficial, loving, successful path or not. I don’t believe that a crackhead living in the street, who’s lost his family, his job, his home, was meant to be a crackhead living in the street. I don’t believe that a clinically depressed individual was meant to be living in that nightmare. I don’t believe that a person living in an abusive relationship was meant to be in that relationship. I believe that we make choices and that the outcome is dependent on our level of consciousness when said choice was made. The outcome is relative to our intentions in regard to the desires. Why is it that we desire what we desire and where is that desire coming from, from a place of compassion and love or from a place of pain and ego?
An old friend was visiting New York recently and I had the pleasure of spending three days with her after not seeing her for years. Like it is with real friendships, even though we don’t communicate regularly or see each other yearly, whenever we do reconnect it’s like no time has passed, we pick up right where we left off with new and interesting adventures to share. With old friends there’s the added bonus of time, she knew me when, which leads to a natural comfort.
I was talking to her about how happy I was to be living in New York and how it felt like home and how I wish I had never moved to Montreal. Montreal was a mistake and I wished that I had stayed in San Francisco, worked out my visa issues there and moved to New York sooner. She then said to me that she understood that feeling of regret, that feeling that you made a wrong turn, a bad decision, a mistake, she felt that way in regard to a thing or two in her life. Maybe mid-thirties is when that sensation of regret starts to develop because you’ve had enough time on the planet at that point to get lost a few times along the way.
She asked me if I thought that it really was a mistake or was it rather something that was meant to happen, pre-destined to happen to teach you some great life lessons. She acknowledged one of her regrets then said how because of that particular misfortune she was able to focus more on her relationship with her husband, which she was grateful for. I told her that I absolutely believe in mistakes, that when a choice stems from fear or pain (pain can sometimes be masked by ego) that the most likely outcome will be equally painful; if not directly through the desire then as a side effect in other aspects or your life. Moving to Montreal was a desperate decision that was driven by heartbreak and fear. My time there was a progressive decline in every single regard, my budding career had all but disappeared, it was virtually impossible for me to make friends, my romantic relationships (or lack there of) were comedic in their desperation and finding a job was like pulling teeth. I knew that I had to make a change or I would die. The Universe was making it very clear that I was not where I was supposed to be.
It was only when I had actively decided to move to New York that things started to progress in an exciting direction again, so much so, that I started to question weather I should move at all. I got a job teaching at a local Continuing Education art school, I started meeting new people and making new connections, and yet every time I seriously contemplated staying something would happen that solidified my decision to move, a co-worker would tattle tale on me to the director about letting my students out five minutes early, the contractor that I hired to renovate my condo installed the toilet lopsided, a new guy that I met turned out to be a stalker or a sale would fall through. It yo-yoed for several months before I realized that I really just had to move.
I agree with her that every situation has the potential to teach you something new. That with pain can come great revelation and that if we are in tune we can catch it and change the circumstances. I learned to progress through fear and follow my dreams into the next dimension; I learned that death would come for all of us and if I was going to live I had to, at the very least strive for my dreams, otherwise what would be the point in any of it? Truly supreme life lessons if I do say so myself, ones that I still follow and strive for to this day. The question being, did I have to suffer through all of that sorrow, pain, loneliness, and failure in Montreal to transcend? I believe the answer is no. I believe that given my nature I would have gotten there anyway, and possibly sooner in love. I believe that my suffering was something that I created in my own life given my state of consciousness in making a major life-altering decision. I believe that it was a mistake, and that had I taken just a little bit more time to figure things out that I would have progressed faster and smoother. Do hardships often present opportunity, absolutely! Hardships are most often opportunities in masks, but sometimes there are hardships that you’ve created out of desperation that lead you nowhere, that you could live without. Pain that you yourself have created ironically enough to deflect pain that you’re feeling.
Feel your pain. Work through it. Acknowledge it. No one likes to be ignored. Don’t allow it to have a tantrum and delay your progression. Face your fears, I promise you they’re not as scary as you imagine. When you follow your heart with integrity, love and kindness you radiate beauty and that’s infectious. You’re life will be a roller coaster, but you can dictate in certain aspects to certain degrees how low or high you want that car to climb. Most of all, enjoy the ride, kick your arrogance to the curb, encounter new situations with enthusiasm and curiosity and respect the strangers you walk by on the street. Love yourself and as a side effect, the love that you will feel for others will be a magic that will ignite fireworks.