Unexpected Twists and Turns
“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.” — Barbara Hall
To a woman who complained about her destiny the Master said: “It is you who makes your destiny.” “But surely I am not responsible for being born a woman?” “Being born a woman isn’t destiny. That is fate. Destiny is how you accept your womanhood and what you make of it.” Anthony de Mello evokes the essence of our destiny coinciding with fate when we are attentive to it. We are born with the seed of potential within us. Some are called to awaken their potential through fate or destiny while others have it thrust upon them. I’m reminded of the following tale depicting the unending search for wisdom outside of us when it waits to be discovered within.
The Creator of the universe gathered all of creation and asked: “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realisation they create their own reality.” “Tell me where I can hide this wisdom so they will never find it.” The eagle replied: “Hide it beyond the furthest star. They will not find it there.” “Not so, said the buffalo. One day man will learn to fly and find his wisdom in the furthest galaxies. Hide it on the floor of the sea and they will never find it.” “Not so, said the wise bear. One day humans will learn to swim to the bottom of the ocean and find their wisdom there. Hide it deep within man, for he will never think to search for it there.” So, the Creator did precisely that. He hid the wisdom of life deep within mankind.
The quest to fulfil one’s goals and dreams is a journey many go in search of. Whilst there is no roadmap marking the route, we must take a leap of faith and trust our journey is following in the right direction. However, along the path, we may encounter unexpected twists and turns that look like we have lost our way, when in fact we are exactly where we need to be. Have you experienced something like this? Perhaps you felt lost and confused as to your destiny or purpose in life? I am often asked this question by clients in coaching sessions and it seems to cause many people frustration.
Your Destiny Is Calling
“Sometimes, perhaps, we are allowed to get lost that we may find the right person to ask directions of.” — Robert Brault
I revealed in earlier articles how I studied to become a menswear fashion designer at university and spent time working in Italy before my life was transformed. Within the years that followed, I went from fashioning fabrics to writing and speaking about self-empowerment because I felt a pull to explore this path. I had little experience as a writer and speaker, yet everything fell into place as I moved forward. What I experienced at the time is best depicted in the quote by the American novelist Wendell Berry who said: “It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.”
What I thought was my ambition to be a successful designer soon became a distant fantasy. I was asked in the years that followed whether I missed working in design. Frankly no, because my time as a designer had run its course and I was excited about my exploring my life as a writer and speaker. Does that mean you shouldn’t chase your goals and dreams? Certainly not. My goal was to become a designer working in Europe and by that account, I fulfilled my ambition until life had other plans. In pursuing our goals, we may encounter adversity and hardship. However, challenges may be our destiny calling. I don’t know and neither will you until you step into it. One thing is for certain, if your world seems to be falling apart, it may be a sign that your previous life is collapsing to give way for the new life to develop.
There is no certainty in life when we are faced with these intersections and the sole guidance to draw on is hope and faith. Hope we will overcome the pain and faith that our new life will fall into place better than expected. We must go forth in the direction we are called, for that is the greatest act of courage we can undertake. It signifies our willingness to trust in the unfolding of our life’s narrative. We are never presented with circumstances we cannot overcome because the seed of our potential to overcome it is already within us. Can you see that what may look untenable at times is simply our thoughts getting in the way of seeing things clearly? We need to analyse our thoughts to discover what is actually holding us back. Sometimes it is nothing more than our ‘belief’ that things are worse than they are.
Whilst it may not appear that way, when we move forward with conviction, the path will reveal itself, but not a moment sooner. If it seems your goals are out of reach, you may be progressing more than you realise, but not in a linear direction. The universe comprises many moving parts. What looks untenable now is nothing more than life orchestrating the pieces of the puzzle so your life comes together as it should. However, if you look intently on the chaos, you are likely to think circumstances are not unfolding in your favour. They are, but not in the way you think. For now, follow the trail and embrace the journey while making the most of it. Take the road less travelled and follow it with openness, knowing it might lead you to fulfil your destiny sooner than you realise.