Sometimes, Life Doesn’t Go According To Plan And That’s Not A Bad Thing

Published on: February 10, 2014

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Unseen Forces Acting Upon Us

“Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes heading in a new direction can be scary until you realize you’re headed toward a new and exciting destination.” — Susan Gale

Think back to a situation that did not turn out as planned; imagine the details as best you can. Perhaps you expected an outcome to go a certain way or your well laid-out plans crumbled before you. Take comfort, since life doesn’t always go according to plan and unexpected detours can sometimes lead us to wonderful places.

The premise of the article is grounded in the biased view that we have the final say in life’s unfolding events. Therefore, suffering arises in the assumption we are in complete control of our lives. In his book The Five Things We Cannot Change, author and psychologist David Richo suggests we reframe this notion of control by adopting an alternative view. He says: “We do not let go of control; we let go of the belief we have control.” What are your thoughts? Do you believe we are in control of our life or there are greater unseen forces acting upon us? Contemplate your answer as you read along.

Determinists and fatalists concede there is a greater force functioning behind the backdrop of our lives; beyond our limited perspective. They contend, we are mere puppets in a well-orchestrated drama of unseen influences acting upon us. Whilst we have free will, we have little control once the die is cast. For example, in his book Way of The Peaceful Warrior, author Dan Millman highlights this analogy of detachment to that of surrendering control: “…once aim is taken, and the arrow is loosed from the bow, we can only wait in anticipation to see where it may land.”

Control vs Faith

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” — Golda Meir

Being in control in an ever-changing and adapting universe is irrational. Those who seek to maintain control realise it is like chasing a stubborn cat; the harder you try, the less control you have. However, by yielding to universal forces, we allow life to reveal itself through us. We realise that every experience, every thought and emotion is in perfect alignment with the synchronous fulfilment of universal intelligence. Not that we will consent or even like everything that happens, but we can learn to co-operate and even co-create with these forces. I’m not talking about dire or sinister events, such as someone being tragically killed in a car accident. I am referring to managing our everyday lives.

Spiritual masters underscore humanity’s unwillingness to think from the heart instead of the mind. As we grow over the coming millennia, this will become clearer as we awaken our sixth sense; thus attaining spiritual harmony. You needn’t be evolved to work with universal forces. However, aligning with your heart invites you to become acquainted with the silent inner voice within, instead of the egoic mind. In the West, the notion of surrender is met with a sense of hopelessness and vulnerability. It may be construed for inaction and apathy, yet it is the opposite. Letting go of how life should play out allows the orchestration of infinite possibilities to flow unimpeded through our life. We may view it as having a wider range of possibilities arranging themselves for us, instead of a limited few.

Working with a greater infinite intelligence requires developing faith and trust. Faith that your needs are met in due course and trust they will arrive when the time is right. How can this benevolent universe not deliver on its promise to look after you? After all, if you’re reading this, you’ve made it to this point in time because of the choices you’ve made. You handled every problem, disaster or tragedy and will continue to do so because life is not separate from you. You are the embodiment of life and your decisions are an extension of universal energy expressing itself through your actions.

How are you feeling about this so far? Can you see why you cannot get it wrong, even though it may appear that way sometimes? It requires relaxing into the knowing you are guided by unseen forces acting through you and for you. In other words, developing faith is comparable to knowing that your heart always pumps oxygen-rich blood with acute precision to your organs each day. You needn’t be concerned it won’t do its task properly or oversupply the arteries and organs. It delivers more blood to your working muscles when you exercise and less blood when you’re asleep. How does it sense the variation in activity? What is it connected to or receiving instructions from to manage these resources? Reflect on this the next time you feel anxious about life not working according to plan.

Change and Impermanence

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” — W. Somerset Maugham

Life is subject to perpetual change based on the law of impermanence. Nothing remains the same, not even the cells in your body, which have a finite lifespan. Knowing this, we can take comfort in that transformation is linked to the human condition. Sooner than oppose it, learn to work with it. The more you oppose the forces of life, the less control you have. The essence of this principle is contained in the passage: “Life is like sand held in your hands. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers…” Instead of clutching tightly, learn to yield to life’s forces. Go with the flow. Albeit, this does not imply resignation or indifference. It implies inner detachment.

Therefore, if you struggle with circumstances not going your way, release your expectation of intended outcomes by inviting a higher solution to permeate through your life. Yield to the forces of life and allow life to take you where it needs to. Sometimes, the wrong turn can and deliver us to the right place. It requires patience, trust and an inner knowing that life has our back. Our task is to show up to our life and let go of our resistance to. It is then, life can reveal itself through the unexpected and what may show up can be better than what we initially expected.

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